HacDC Museum

From HacDC Wiki

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)

Name Controversy

There's been some debate about whether to name the collection after our first large benefactor, and whether to identify objects in the collection as having been donated by certain individuals. A suggestion has been made by Derek Cooper to contact the benefactor's family to verify permission to use the name, but to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation, I think it would be wise to see if the group is in favor of naming a part of the collection after the benefactor before asking for permission.

Those in favor of naming the collection after the benefactor, pending permission from his heirs

  • Ben 15:43, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Q 11:49, 12 June 2008 (EST)
  • Sarah 16:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Katie 16:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Those opposed to naming the collection after the benefactor

Discussion Relating to Name Controversy

I think we can be selective about what we put in the "official" museum collection, but there is other interesting, amusing (embarrassing?) stuff that was in the boxes that has been photographed and put up on Flickr--and more that has yet to be photographed, no doubt. Even if it doesn't end up in the museum, it wouldn't be difficult for someone to go to HacDC's Flickr group and see the unofficial stuff mixed in with the official. Given the email from the widow, I do think it would be nice to name a collection or something after this guy, but if we do that, then I will take down my pictures of anything that I think might embarrass his family. Sarah 16:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)