Musée Mécanique

Musée Mécanique

Located in the tourist epicenter of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Musée Mécanique is one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. On display are over 300 items ranging from coin operated pianos to antique slot machines.

Admission to this for-profit museum is free, because playing the games or activating the music or animations costs money. Per usual, I’m just sharing some design-focused details here.

Musée Mécanique

Musée Mécanique

Musée Mécanique

There are lots of interactive vignettes, like this one of an old school amusement park:

Musée Mécanique

If you’re willing to brave the throngs of tourists in Fisherman’s Wharf, Musée Mécanique is lots of fun, even if you don’t play anything. For more eye candy, check out some photos of the collection.

As a sidenote, it’s fun to go back to the Bay Area and do some of these silly things that I never would have done when I lived there. It’s actually kind of liberating to be a tourist for once!

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