9 Weird London Museums You Never Knew About
You may think the Tate Modern has some weird stuff on display, with its identical bright-red cylinders hanging in virtually every room, but the truth is that A) those are fire extinguishers, and B) that place doesn't hold a candle to these oddity-filled institutions...
Only a few blocks away from the British Museum is The Cartoon Museum, where you can feast your eyes on over 5,000 books and 4,000 comics, plus a traveling exhibitions of cartoons, caricatures, comic strips, and animation. The Beano, Spitting Image, Dan Dare -- it’s all here.
“One man's trash is another man's treasure” is an apt phrase here. Filled with everyday materials dating back to the 1800s to the present, this is a time machine of soap, cereal, cosmetics, and candy bars. See what Kit Kats looked like in the 1930s and how the boxes of makeup were designed in the 1890s. Note: it's about to relocate and will be closed from July 5th-October.
This place has a lot of fans. In fact, it’s the only museum in the world dedicated to fans, having over 3,500 with some dating back to the 11th century. Fans used to be used for more then pre-electric air-conditioning, and there used to be a whole language developed from holding techniques and flutters, which would be totally useful today. Go ogle beautiful artistry and then get involved with its afternoon tea.
Home to probably the most famous couch in history, this was the family house where Sigmund Freud analyzed minds after he fled Austria in 1939. Having been lived in by his daughter for 44 years, his parlor is still filled with cabinets, statues, books, and of course, that famous couch.
London’s Sewing Machine Museum
While we may take the seams in our clothes for granted, there is a lot of care that has gone into the creation. Part of the Wimbledon Sewing Machine Company, check out the evolution of both domestic and and industrial machines with over 700 types, including an example of the first Singer machine.
Breaking the silence surrounding all the best tricks, this members club and museum is packed with artifacts that may or may not actually be magic. See Harry Houdini’s handcuffs, learn how illusionist Chung Ling Soo was shot dead during a performance an 1918, and discover 10,000 secrets. Just remember, once you know the tricks, you’ll kill the magic forever.
Want to know how surgeons removed limbs and cut into deathly ill flesh in the 1800s? In a time when medical equipment looked like torture devices and anesthesia was limited to booze and opiates, surgeons would gather in the theater to catch doctors amputate in under a minute, traumatizing the patient as much as curing them. The staff do grizzly reenactments if you have the stomach for a bit of gore.
Once upon a time, going to the cinema was a grand affair, where the best outfits would be rolled out, waiters greeted you like esteemed guests, and you could escape into a glamorous world, even if just for an hour. This Art Deco homage to the golden days of cinema is filled with carefully preserved artifacts of sheet music, rating certificates, uniforms, and 17 million feet of film. It also has screenings, special exhibits, and evenings with some of the stars of the silver screen with icons like Fenella Fielding and John WIlson.
Our homes expose more about human nature and life in the times than almost any artifact of history. At the Geffrye Museum, they have collections of living rooms showing how the middle class lived for the last 400 years, with the rise of fashions, gimmicks, and styles. The museum has also extended to show the progression of gardens, so be sure to take a stroll while getting your culture on when the weather is nice.
Sign up here for our daily London email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the capital.