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hershey story museum, hershey pennsylvania, strange museums, food museums
AP/Diane Stoneback
The entrance to The
Hershey Story Museum, in Hershey, Pa.

Fun and Wacky Online Museums: Food, Technology, and Play

November 14, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
Today we're going to take a look at some of the more unusual collections online that feature odd food, beloved advertising icons, computers, and more. From the one-man online operations to large budget real life museums. And although many of these museums are full of truthful facts about sometimes odd subjects, today's feature is purely for entertainment value.

Freaky Food

The Museum of Food Anomalies is more of a blog full of pictures than a legitimate museum, but you're sure to be entertained by its archive of pictures of unusual or unfortunately formed food. You'll find a mix of photos of naturally occurring anomalies (like two grapes grown together) and man-made anomalies (like a sunny-side-up egg that looks like a rabbit).

Proving that just about anything can have its own museum, SPAM has been honored by its own museum in Austin, Minnesota since 2001. Online you can take a look at some of the exhibits on display, join the SPAM fan club, or find out when and where the next SPAM festival will be.

Sweet Tooth

The name Hershey has long been synonymous with chocolate and thanks to the Museum on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, Pennsylvania you can discover the history of this beloved sweet. Online, you can plan a real life visit (because you can't sample chocolate online) or take a look at some of the exhibits virtually.

The Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas pays homage to the world's oldest major soft drink. In the "Dr. Pepper Facts" section you can read all about this soda, or you can take a virtual tour of the museum in the "visit us" section.

Computer Love

It just so happens that the very machines that make access to the Internet possible enjoy their own versions of "museums" around the Net. The next time you complain that your two-pound laptop is a little bulky, remember what you'll learn at the following sites and think of the days when a simple computer took up an entire room.

The "Visible Storage" exhibit on the Computer History Museum Web site should be interesting to novices and computer buffs alike, you'll find images of a sampling of what the museum has on display: primitive computers, calculators, robots, and the like. Also under the "exhibits" tab you'll find timelines of computer history from the 1930s until the present along with a history of the Internet from the 1960s on. You can even view "this day in history" to see what computer milestone is celebrating an anniversary.

If you're a Mac user, then you might find the quick walk down Apple memory lane provided by the Apple Museum to be of some interest.

The online-only archive of Apple at Mactracker has some interesting reads such as the "apple facts" that cover things like the origin of the Apple "dogcow" and where various logos came from. The history given by this site covers major milestones in product and company development but leaves off around late 2004. Download the freeware Mactracker and have access to specs and information about nearly every Macintosh ever made.

Play Around

Browse the virtual shelves of the Icon Advertising Museum and get more info on some of your favorite (or some unknown) characters from advertising past and present. Just click on a shelf of interest to see the characters in more detail, and then click on individual characters for a brief bio. If you'd prefer to search by category click on the Toucan Sam picture on the main gallery page to use the site's search engine.

The online version of the National Toy Hall of Fame from the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York can be explored by clicking on the picture of your choice. You can also nominate a favorite toy for induction into the Hall of Fame; so far, classics like the Easy Bake Oven, Silly Putty, Tinkertoy, and the Radio Flyer have found a home here.

Ever wonder where the game Jenga or Legos came from? Dr. Toy's site has interesting histories of some of the most beloved toys in history.

Just for Fun

What more appropriate way for findingDulcinea to demonstrate the vast range of collections online than to direct you to the Don Quixote Virtual Museum. This site offers information about all things Quixote, from Man of la Mancha cheese wheels to Quixote inspired melodies. 

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