7 of the world’s most unique museums.On August 5, 2020 by Jeremy Jagusch
One of my favourite things about writing for Live History is getting to find out about all the unique museums there are in the world. In this blog, I decided to briefly talk about seven of them that we feel should not be missed!
1 – The first one I wanted to take a look at is The Museum of Bread Culture, in Ulm, Germany. I think we can all agree that few things are better than eating a warm piece of toast with some melting butter on it. Or the ritual of making a sandwich out of leftovers from a holiday feast. Bread is one of those items in our life that has been taken for granted. It’s either a staple of your diet or something you pass by when shopping…But we rarely think of or delve into the 6,000-year history of bread. That was why in 1955 the father and son team of Willy and Hermann Eiselen decided to found this museum. It contains more than 18,000 artifacts and more than 6,000 books, detailing the evolution of bread, the baking process and its global cultural importance. Just don’t expect to be able to snack on some bread while you’re there, as there is no actual bread in the museum.
2 – International Spy Museum – International espionage has been a part of our life, whether we know it or not, for many years. In both real-life and seen in pop culture. The name James Bond, for example, fills the mind with so many images, and many bad Sean Connery impersonations (in this humble writer’s opinion, Timothy Dalton was the Bond who never gets enough credit in the grand scheme.) If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a spy, or if you wanted to see some of the real-life gadgets used, this is the place for you. The International Spy Museum opened its doors to the public in Washington DC in 2002. It was originally conceived by Milton Maltz who was a code breaker for the United States during the Korean war. Not only will you come face to face with some gadgets you’ve only read about, but you will learn about how spying has helped shape the world throughout history. This is sure to be an exciting experience for all ages.
3 – Derwent Pencil Museum – As I sit here and type of this blog on my laptop I occasionally look over to my lone pencil…virtually lost and forgotten about as it sits in a cup with various pens. Pencils are an object that most of us have used daily for long periods are taken for granted. Like everything around us, they have a rich and interesting history that many don’t know. The Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick England looks to change that. Founded in 1981 by the Derwent Pencil Company, this museum is something to write home about. Along with containing the largest colouring pencil in the world, the museum houses exhibits showing the history of this oft-forgotten but always valuable writing tool, which the company has been making since 1832.
4-Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets – I think we can all agree the toilet is another of those things in life that we take for granted. They’re sturdy, always there for you and they’ve been a part of our lives almost since we could walk. But at the same time, despite all that, history and development rarely get more than a passing thought. That is where the Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets comes in. Opened in New Delhi India in 1992, this unique museum has exhibits that cover the five thousand year history of sanitation from around the world. It’s a great opportunity to appreciate something you use everyday.
5 – Cheese and Agricultural Museum – Cheese is a food that has an interesting history and evolution. In some households, it’s a staple of the diet. In others, it’s just something that comes on a pizza (extra cheese with pepperoni and bacon strips for me thanks). There is obviously more to do with cheese than eating it in the museum. I’m talking about the process of making it and the history behind it. In some cases, the local dairy can be a virtual centrepiece of an early thriving community. Thanks to the Cheese and Agricultural Museum in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, you will be able to learn about how cheese itself helped build the community around it. The museum is a re-creation of a 19th-century cheese factory that was typical for the area. But like the bread museum, they, unfortunately, don’t offer any samples on the museum floor. They do, however, sell some awesome cheese in their gift shop!
6 – British Lawnmower Museum – Have you mowed your lawn recently? Did you know the lawnmower was patented in 1830 in Great Britain? This fascinating space is a sure trip for any lawn care enthusiast. This internationally known museum has a variety of lawn mowers showing the evolution through the ages. Located in Merseyside, England this is definitely a place you can rev your (lawnmower) engines about.
7 – Bata Shoe Museum – This unique museum based in Toronto, Ontario has been built to look like a shoe box…of course, it contains more than a single pair. In fact, this footwear centric museum contains more than 13,000 pairs of shoes and other footwear stretching back for more than 4,500 years. Combined, it is the largest collection of footwear anywhere in the world. The almost 40,000 square foot facility opened to the public in 1995 and has been a popular attraction ever since. If you’re into learning about the history of footwear, The Bata Shoe Museum will no doubt be a shoe-in for one of your favourite venues.
Well, that wraps it up for this list. Do you know of a unique museum? Let us know in the comments! Thanks so much for reading and be sure to check back every week for our newest blog. Be safe and we’ll see you in the past.