Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Musee Mecanique

When reading up on San Francisco, I saw a little snippet about a place called the Musee Mecanique.  It was smack dab in the middle of tourist-ville (aka Fisherman's Wharf), but the description was so enticing that I put it on my short list of sites.  I am sure glad I did!  It was a wonderfully wonky mixture of history and kitsch that made me feel a bit nostalgic for the arcades of my childhood.  Entrance is free, but you should definitely come loaded with at least a handful of quarters so that you can bring the mechanical machines to life.

I saw what the belly dancer does on her day off.  It involved a ukelele and it wasn't very exciting.  She seems to spend a lot of time just standing around :)

 Jolly Jack is the one you hear laughing in the background of the site.  His belly laughter was infectious, slightly creepy and very long lasting.

Some of the machines look very futuristic, like this sleek, mechanical horse:

The signs were pretty amusing:

There were many machines that were definitely from a different era, culturally.  Like this one that was not to be played by the "easily offended"

and this one that was purely an execution scene.

This one was just plain sad/unsettling.

Lots of the machines wanted to tell you if you and your honey are a good match and/or how good of a lover you are.

There were a lot of machines based on bringing a scene to life, like this little sewing shop.

And this carnival scene constructed out of toothpicks:

You could have your fortune told by any number of mystics.

 But, this one was my favorite.  I went to the Musee Mecanique on my last afternoon, so I had spent many days and many hours on my feet.  This machine actually did what it says it will do.  It felt so good, I used it twice!


  1. The girls, Kevin and I went to this museum when Katy was a Junior.
    So much fun, but noisy!

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the great post about the Musee, we appreciate it!

    I want to let you know that we have a new web site at http://www.museemecaniquesf.com

    The one you link to is out of date and not maintained by the Musee.

    If you could change your link, it would be great!

  3. I appreciate the update, David. I changed the link. Also, thanks for sharing all of those fabulously quirky games with the public!


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