CLOSE
Original image
Karen Seifert, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

10 Museums Devoted to Household Items

Original image
Karen Seifert, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you like something enough, why not establish a museum for it? That philosophy likely gave birth to the ten institutions below, all very real museums from around the world that focus on one household item. From folding fans to typewriters and every flavor of mustard, these are brick-and-mortar homages to the products and devices we use every day.

1. WEIN MUSEUM UHRENMUSEUM (THE CLOCK MUSEUM) // VIENNA, AUSTRIA

The three floors of the Uhrenmuseum in Germany hold 3000 clocks, many of which set off an echoing chorus of chimes with every passing hour. Founded in 1917, the museum has a piece that is smaller than a thimble, and another that once kept time in a church steeple. According to Atlas Obscura, there is a 230-year-old astronomical clock with golden gears at the museum calibrated to keep time until the year 9999.

2. THE FAN MUSEUM // GREENWICH, LONDON

Adrian Long, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The Fan Museum opened in 1991 in southeast London and has an extensive collection of around 5000 fans and fan-related items that date back to the 11th century. The museum features permanent displays that chronicle the history of the devices, and temporary exhibits that focus on fans from specific regions, eras, and themes.

3. THE HAMMER MUSEUM // HAINES, ALASKA

Sean Hoyer, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Located in the small town of Haines (the “Adventure Capital of Alaska”), The Hammer Museum, with its 19-foot-tall sculpture out front, opened its door to the public in 2002. It's run entirely by unpaid volunteers. “From ancient times to the industrial age, the hammer tells the story of man’s progress and ingenuity,” reads the museum’s website. Visitors have a relatively narrow window to see the 1500 hammers on display, because the seasonal attraction is only open from May to September.

4. THE LONDON SEWING MACHINE MUSEUM // LONDON, ENGLAND

Diamond Geezer, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


The London Sewing Machine Museum is only open on the first Saturday of each month, so seeing the first Singer or the machine that belonged to Queen Victoria’s daughter will take thorough planning or a bit of luck. Although the place doesn't have many online reviews, those who've been there in the past couple of years seem to love it. A woman named Jane praised the museum’s collection of over 600 machines from 1850 to 1950 as being “unexpected treasures” that are “beautifully curated and displayed,” while another reviewer referred to the vintage machines as “fine examples of mechanical majesty.”

5. THE VACUUM CLEANER MUSEUM // SAINT JAMES, MISSOURI

This tribute to dirt suckers was founded in 2009 by a vacuum specialist named Tom Gasko, who has reportedly been obsessed with the machines since he was a boy. Having dedicated his life to selling vacuums, Gasko was also a collector, and it was with his personal collection that he was able to create the display of over 600 working models at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum. The collection reaches back to the early 1900s, and the museum’s website promises a look at vacuums once owned by celebrities.

6. THE SALT AND PEPPER SHAKER MUSEUM // GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE

Karen Seifert, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Started by a family of collectors, the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum features around 20,000 pairs of shakers in various shapes and sizes, some of which are around 500 years old. From pop culture and fast food-themed shakers, to very ornate shakers and others shaped like cats, the collection at this museum is one that visitors tend to describe as “strange” or “awesome” or somewhere in the middle.

7. THE DINNERWARE MUSEUM // ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

This non-profit in Ann Arbor, Michigan is dedicated to the undisputed heroes of every kitchen: the dinnerware. With exhibitions that focus on things like cake and “the art of high chair dining,” The Dinnerware Museum has just about every aspect of table culture covered. There is a cake stand from 2015, a 54-piece set from 1968, and a pearlware bowl from the 1800s, among other rare and interesting objects. If you’re into setting the table, this is the place for you.

8. THE TYPEWRITER MUSEUM // ITALY

There is an entire generation of people on this planet who have no idea what a typewriter is, which is why the Peter Mitterhofer Typewriter Museum (named after the inventor) is necessary. Founded in 1998 in the Bolzano region of Italy, the museum is based primarily around the collection of a man named Kurt Ryba, but also has models acquired through donations. There are over 2000 of the relics in the collection, which spans about 150 years, with notable pieces including Thomas Edison’s typewriter and one of the first commercially sold typewriters.

9. THE LUNCHBOX MUSEUM // COLUMBUS, GEORGIA

A utilitarian way to show off one’s nerdom to other students, lunchboxes were the cool way to take lunch to school from the 1950s through the 1980s. Television shows, movies, and just about every other marketable property had its own metal or plastic lunchbox, and Allen Woodall Jr. spent years collecting over 2000 of them (including related items such as thermoses). Now, they are proudly displayed at his The Lunchbox Museum. From Scooby Doo and Rambo to Mork and Mindy and Double Bubble, the museum is chock full of nostalgia that you can access for just $5 and a trip to Georgia. Check out the video above to get the guided tour from the curator.

10. THE NATIONAL MUSTARD MUSEUM // MIDDLETON, WISCONSIN

National Mustard Museum founder Barry Levenson says that the idea to devote an entire museum to the condiment came while walking around a supermarket just after watching his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, lose the World Series in 1986. Today, the museum has over 5676 mustards in its collection, featuring jars from every state and over 70 countries. It is free to visit, and there is also a store that sells some of the hardest-to-find mustards in the world.

Original image
HBO
arrow
entertainment
20 Things You Might Not Know About Mr. Show
Original image
HBO

You never need an excuse to look back at Mr. Show with Bob and David, but given that today is co-creator Bob Odenkirk's 55th birthday, now seems to be as good a time as any.

1. BOB ODENKIRK AND DAVID CROSS’S FIRST MEETING DID NOT GO VERY WELL.

Following four years of writing on Saturday Night Live, Odenkirk was in Los Angeles in 1992 as a writer for the Chris Elliott Fox cult classic Get a Life. David Cross was a comedian in L.A. after performing for years in Boston. One boring afternoon, Cross asked friend and fellow stand-up Janeane Garofalo if she knew anybody that played basketball. The two went to Odenkirk’s house, and Garofalo introduced David to Bob and then asked if he wanted to play basketball. He said no.

2. ODENKIRK AND CROSS FIRST WORKED TOGETHER ON THE BEN STILLER SHOW.

Despite their inauspicious beginning, the two ended up having numerous fruitful collaborations, starting with their work on The Ben Stiller Show. Odenkirk was a writer/performer on the short-lived but Emmy award-winning sketch show with Garofalo, Stiller, and Andy Dick. Cross was brought in in the middle of the show’s 13-episode run as a writer.

3. THE CO-STARS FIRST PERFORMED ON STAGE TOGETHER AS "THE THREE GOOFBALLZ."

Odenkirk and Cross performed sketch comedy together at the Diamond Club in Los Angeles, with a third improviser that, the joke went, would either be deceased or out elsewhere getting high.

4. "THE THREE GOOFBALLZ' WAS ALMOST THE TITLE OF MR. SHOW

Odenkirk also pitched the title Grand National Championships, but David Cross was never a fan of it.

5. JACK BLACK, SARAH SILVERMAN, AND OTHER FUTURE STARS APPEARED ON THE SHOW BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS.

Black was in four episodes of Mr. Show, starring in the classic Jesus Christ Superstar parody “Jeepers Creepers.” Silverman was a performer in 10 episodes. Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known as Chloe on 24, was a featured actress in the first two years. Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, was a series regular for a majority of the run. Scott Adsit, a.k.a. 30 Rock’s Pete Hornberger, was in six episodes.

6. PATTON OSWALT WARMED UP THE MR. SHOW CROWD.

In addition to performing stand-up before tapings and keeping the studio audience interested in between scenes, Oswalt played Famous Mortimer in the episode “Operation: Hell on Earth” (but was credited as “Patton Oswald.”)

7. HOMELESS PEOPLE WERE NOT KIND TO THE ORIGINAL SETS.

Because the pilot episode was shot at a “down and dirty,” small Central Hollywood club, the sets had to be placed outside, where homeless people defecated on them.

8. YOU MIGHT ALSO RECOGNIZE SOME OF THE WRITING STAFF.

Dino Stamatopoulos was already on the original writing staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and had written for David Letterman before writing for Cross and Odenkirk. He would later create three shows and play Starburns on Community. Writer/performer Scott Aukerman co-created and executive produces Between Two Ferns, and created and stars on Comedy Bang! Bang!. Writer/performer Paul F. Tompkins hosted VH-1’s Best Week Ever! and currently hosts the satirical debate show No, You Shut Up!, where he moderates discussions by a panel full of puppets. Bob Odenkirk’s brother Bill has written ten episodes of The Simpsons.

9. THE DIRECTORS OF LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE LEARNED HOW TO DIRECT COMEDY FROM MR. SHOW.

Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton were known for directing music videos like The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” and Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing,” and decided to direct two Mr. Show episodes to expand their filming vocabulary. The husband and wife team were behind the camera for the classic sketch “Monk Academy.”

10. ONE SKETCH WAS INFLUENCED BY LOUIS C.K.

One of the first sketches in the show’s history involved Odenkirk playing a priest forced to do rather unpleasant and un-priestly things. The idea sprang from a conversation David Cross had with fellow young Boston comic Louis C.K., where Louis talked about annoying people that try to claim a prize on a bet that their friends never agreed to in the first place.

11. HBO ONLY CENSORED THE SHOW ONCE.

Throughout four years and 30 episodes, the lone note Odenkirk and Cross got from HBO was to get rid of a line where one character tells another to have sex with a baby. Odenkirk admitted that being told to edit it out “wasn’t too much to ask.”

12. THEY ONLY RECEIVED ONE VIEWER COMPLAINT.

The only angry letter that Odenkirk and Cross were ever made aware of was from a military veteran who was offended by the sketch in “Who Let You In?” where Cross’s performance artist character attempts to defecate on the American flag. The two stars actually called the viewer and discovered that he didn’t watch the entire sketch, and therefore never realized that Cross’ character was never able to actually go through with it.

13. ONE SKETCH WAS CUT FROM THE SHOW SIX TIMES AND NEVER MADE IT TO AIR.

A sketch called “Party Car,” a joke on old, low-quality shows filled with '70s celebrities was cut from half a dozen scripts and never filmed. It would have featured Nipsey Russell, Zsa Zsa Gabor, (or reasonable facsimiles), and a baby in a balloon-filled car.

14. BOB ODENKIRK GOT IN TROUBLE FOR USING A PICTURE OF HIS DEAD GRANDFATHER.

Because the sketch “Old Man In House” needed a photo of an old man, and the elderly gentleman was not the butt of the joke, Odenkirk thought it would be fine. Instead, some Odenkirks were “very upset.”

15. CROSS WAS PAYING OFF HIS STUDENT LOAN DEBTS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE SERIES.

David Cross and Amber Tamblyn
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Despite executive producing and co-creating a series on television, Cross had trouble paying off his student loan debts from his time at Emerson College. Figuring that the person calling from the bill collection agency wouldn’t believe that he couldn’t pay if he knew his job status, Cross pretended that he worked at Mr. Show as a messenger.

16. ONE PERSON WAS GIVEN A "SPECIAL THANKS" IN THE CLOSING CREDITS OF EVERY EPISODE AS A JOKE.

As Cross once explained, Rick Dees was thanked in the credits of the pilot episode, even though he was “certainly nobody we would ever thank, or be in a position to thank.” Some personalities that were thanked for no discernable reason were Greg Maddux, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, Gabe Kaplan, and Howard Zinn.

17. HBO CHANGED THE TIME SLOT FOR ITS FINAL SEASON, AND IT WAS "DEMORALIZING."

After airing Fridays at midnight for the first three seasons, HBO moved the show to Mondays at the same time, confusing some loyal viewers, and the ratings decreased as a result. Bob Odenkirk told a reporter that, after 30 episodes, HBO was still treating the cast and crew as “second-class citizens,” and that they were “demoralized” by the slot shift.

18. BOB AND DAVID TOLD A STUDIO AUDIENCE THAT THEY HAD JUST WITNESSED THE FINAL EPISODE, AND THEY WEREN'T JOKING.

“Patriotism, Pepper, and Professionalism,” the 40th and final episode of Mr. Show, was taped on November 21, 1998. After the final sketch was filmed, Odenkirk and Cross made their announcement, although the show’s cancellation wasn’t made official for another few months.

19. THERE WAS A MR. SHOW MOVIE THAT WENT STRAIGHT TO VIDEO.

Run Ronnie Run focused on David Cross’s redneck criminal character Ronnie Dobbs. It was filmed in 2001, but never made it to theaters. Bob Odenkirk admitted that the movie wasn’t perfect, but he blamed the poor quality on director Troy Miller, for not allowing himself and Cross to edit the movie.

20. THE TWO HAVE REUNITED A FEW OTHER TIMES.

David Cross and Bob Odenkirk star in 'W/ Bob and David'
Saeed Adyani/Netflix

In 2002, Bob, David, and Mr. Show writer/performers Brian Posehn, John Ennis, and Stephanie Courtney (Flo in the Progressive commercials) toured the country to perform some of the show’s sketches and material from their unproduced screenplay Mr. Show: Hooray For America! The next year, Odenkirk guest starred as Dr. Phil Gunty on a season one episode of Arrested Development, alongside Cross’ character Tobias Fünke.

In 2012, Odenkirk, Cross, and Posehn went on a six-city tour to promote their book filled with more unproduced material. Bob and David appeared briefly together the next year on an episode of Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang! In 2015, 20 years after Mr. Show's debut, Netflix premiered W/ Bob and David, a five-episode sketch comedy show created by and starring the duo.

Original image
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
arrow
entertainment
30 Memorable Quotes from Carrie Fisher
Original image
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Just days after suffering a heart attack aboard a flight en route to Los Angeles, beloved actress, author, and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016. Though she’ll always be most closely associated with her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher’s life was like something out of its own Hollywood movie. Born in Beverly Hills on this day in 1956, Fisher was born into show business royalty as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Fisher built up an impressive resume behind the scenes, too, most notably as a writer; in addition to several memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels, including Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, Postcards from the Edge, and The Princess Diarist (which was released last month), she was also an in-demand script doctor who counted Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer among her credits.

Though she struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness, Fisher always maintained a sense of humor—as evidenced by the 30 memorable quotes below.

ON GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”

“I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish.”

“At a certain point in my early twenties, my mother started to become worried about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.”

“I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.”

“If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.”

ON AGING

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”

ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Instant gratification takes too long.”

ON THE LEGACY OF STAR WARS

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.”

“Leia follows me like a vague smell.”

“I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.”

“You're not really famous until you’re a Pez dispenser.”

ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF SUCCESS

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

ON DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

“I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”

ON RESENTMENT

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

ON LOVE

“Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.”

“I've got to stop getting obsessed with human beings and fall in love with a chair. Chairs have everything human beings have to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience, and less response. The less the merrier. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.”

“I don’t hate hardly ever, and when I love, I love for miles and miles. A love so big it should either be outlawed or it should have a capital and its own currency.”

ON EMOTIONS

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”

ON RELATIONSHIPS

“I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known to the other person.”

ON HOLLYWOOD

“Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence.”

“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

“It's a man's world and show business is a man's meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.”

ON FEAR

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

ON LIFE

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

“If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.”

“My life is like a lone, forgotten Q-Tip in the second-to-last drawer.”

ON DEATH

“You know what's funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You'd think we could remember finding out we weren't immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, 'Aww. They've just been told.'”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios