Musee Mechanique

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Musee Mechanique

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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When entering Musee Mechanique, visitors become children once again as they gaze at the nostalgic games and toys they once fiddled with when they were young. In 1933, at only 11 years old, Edward Galland Zelinsky began his arcade game collection. He started with a penny machine, which grew into the collection he displays today. Musee Mechanique, located on Pier 45 in San Francisco, hosts more than 300 of his games, fortune-tellers, automatic music players, mechanical dioramas, and various other machines whose creations span across the 20th century.

The mechanical dioramas feature characters that act out a scene when the money is inserted, with one machine displaying a Wild West-themed setting, with miniscule characters dressed in boots and cowboy hats huddled around a campfire. Some of the machines are older versions of those seen in today’s arcades. An older claw machine in the museum is much more skill-based as the operator must connect a magnet on the crane to another magnet on a metal chain in order to pick up the prize. Another machine features two bicycles that race around in circles, controlled by rotating a handle. Some of the games in the museum were manufactured more recently, which gives the guests a chance to compare the older games to the new ones. The Musee Mechanique presents a fantastic chance to view the development of technology over time, and is a great opportunity to play the arcade games of our parents and grandparents.