Show Us Your Favorite Single-Focus Museum

Museums are portals into the past. August bastions of knowledge, museums chronicle the achievements and failures of humankind. And sometimes carrots. Many museums, large and small, focus on a single item or theme, exploring its uniqueness, history, and transformation over time. These can range from places like the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia, ⁠where you can see almost every Pez character ever created; to the truly unforgettable Icelandic Phallological Museum, home to an impressive collection of mammal penises. While you might ask why someone would want to collect these things, laser-focused collections like these preserve histories that may otherwise be forgotten. If not for such institutions, we might lose the evolution of everyday objects such as vacuum cleaners, or be unable to comprehend the wondrous history of Spam. These just scratch the surface of the multitude of magnificent (and sometimes silly) museums across the globe that are dedicated to one subject, and now we want to hear about your favorites!


(Image: Michael Barera/Public Domain)

In the thread below, tell us about your favorite example of a museum devoted to a single thing. What is it dedicated to and why did it find a special place in your heart? If you’ve been able to go there, what were your thoughts as you toured the exhibits, did a particular artifact stand out above the others, and what did you learn? Be sure to include any pictures you might have as well. Your response may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura. Make it your singular focus to help us preserve those very peculiar, very interesting museums!

My favorite single-focus museum is the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, AKA the ‘Peanuts Museum’ or ‘Snoopy Museum’, including the ice rink and the gallery and gift shop. I was as concerned with looking for it on a fire map a couple years ago, when multiple fires raged through its region, as I was monitoring my own childhood home in the area. All of those properties were safe, but sadly not the home the late Schulz’s had shared with his wife.

Some images of the Snoopy campus in Santa Rosa, California:
Charles Schulz Museum by ray_explores, on Flickr

SchulzMuseum_SnoopyArt by Ed and Eddie, on Flickr

Charles Schulz Museum by ray_explores, on Flickr

A93T5938 by WineCountry Media, on Flickr

snoopy's home ice by cplbasilisk, on Flickr

Charles Schulz Museum by ray_explores, on Flickr

If you like the cartoon or the dog — heck, even if you don’t — it’s a beautiful place to visit. And yes, there is a ‘doctor is in’ stand.

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The CitizenM hotel on the lower east side in New York has opened up a street art museum. It includes murals from local artists filling up all 15 floors of their stairwell.

It’s very cool…and free!
Here’s some more info and I’ll attach a few pics: Street Art in New York City: A Guide to the Best Hotspots

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In addition to Reykjavik’s penis museum (which you mentioned above), they also have a punk rock museum. It’s located (appropriately) in an old public toilet. It covers the punk scene in Iceland with history on the various bands, music videos, clothing and they even have a drum kit that you can play.

It’s very edgy and bizarre (and very fun!)

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As someone who has been called “The Accessory Queen”, I must mention the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and the Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam.

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The Salt and Pepper Museum in Gatlinburg, TN. Who knew there was enough variety in this genre to fill an entire museum? It was well worth the $3 admission fee.

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It’s technically a collection within a larger medical history display, but it’s one of the largest in the world, so I think it can count. Located in the Case Medical School, the Skuy Contraceptive Collection is fascinating, and one of my favorite Weird Cleveland Places to take visiting friends.

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The Mustard Museum in near Madison, Wisconsin. So much more mustard than you could imagine, fun activities, exhibits, funky art. All the quirk of a homemade museum, but incredibly expansive.

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One of my favs is the The Pinball Hall of Fame which is one of the largest collections of antique to modern pinball machines. Most of them (even the antique pieces) are PLAYABLE! Such a blast to go visit and play. Located at 1610 E. Tropicana, Las Vegas NV. http://pinballmuseum.org/
image

Go visit and enjoy!

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Jello Museum, Leroy NY. ‘Nuff said.

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There is a tow truck museum in Chattanooga, TN that is fun!
https://internationaltowingmuseum.org/

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We recently visited the Miniature Book Museum in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was charming and contained hundreds of not thousands of classics in tiny sizes. Many different languages, too!

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After spending 4 days at Yellowstone, we took a break and went to the Idaho Potato Museum. We ate a huge baked potato in the restaurant where they also served several flavors of potato ice cream. There were singing potatoes and many hands-on exhibits. Couldn’t resist the gift shop, either. Nice break from watching Old Faithful

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Potato ice cream :exploding_head::exploding_head:

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Museu de la xocolata in Barcelona. Because really, who doesn’t LOVE chocolate?
The history of chocolate, chocolate sculptures, and of course a chocolate shop.
Tried Spanish hot chocolate with biscotti. (The thickest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.) And truffles. All kinds of truffles! Museu de la xocolata in Barcelona. Mmmm…chocolate

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National Farm Toy Museum, Dyersville, Iowa:

http://nationalfarmtoymuseumreviews.com/

Dyersville, in Dubuque County, is also the home of the Field of Dreams Movie Site:

https://fieldofdreamsmoviesite.com/

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Peter Mitterhofer Typewriter Museum, Partschins, South Tyrol, Italy:

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The Martin Guitar Museum and Factory tour is well-worth a visit. And it’s free!

https://www.martinguitar.com/about/visit-us/

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The Cotton Museum, housed in the historic Memphis Cotton Exchange:

https://memphiscottonmuseum.org/

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http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com

In picturesque Leavenworth, Washington, The Nutcracker Museum is a museum dedicated to nutcrackers, located in Leavenworth, Washington. Founded by Arlene Wagner and her husband George in 1995, the museum houses over 6,000 nutcrackers.

From toy soldiers to presidents to ballerinas to animals, this is an amazing collection.

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