Has anyone been to the Museum of Useful things in Cambridge? Unfortunately it's now closed, but it used to be a combined store and museum, with old and interesting gadgets displayed in cases and above head level around the store. It's the first thing that came to mind when Ben proposed a HacDC museum. The Museum of Useful Things still exists online, but primarily as a store. I couldn't find much on their site about the things in their collection, but there are a few pages (Example).
One thing that I liked about the physical store is that they often displayed old and new versions of the same product (with the new version available to buy). For example, this staple-free stapler was displayed under a model that looked more like one of these guys.
- Sounds like a really interesting concept. I'd love to aim for a more expansive display of artifacts, space permitting, and if the Museum is wildly successful, perhaps its own space someday in the distant future. The idea of a store is intriguing, as well. Perhaps as HacDC grows, there could be something akin to the 826 Valencia model, where a fun storefront (They have a Pirate Store, a superhero store, and a Bigfoot Research Institute) is the gateway to a spectacular hacking/teaching space and proceeds are used to subsidize the programs of HacDC. We're a long way from that, but it's something to consider. Ben 19:10, 11 June 2008 (UTC)