The Musée Mécanique

Are you nostalgic about your childhood games ? Are you interested in mechanics ? Here is the place for you !

The Musée Mécanique is located in San Francisco, it’s an interactive museum where we can find a collection of antique mechanical toys and devices that still work.

With more than 300 items, the Musée Mécanique is one of world’s largest private collection of old operated mechanical or musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. In a nostalgic ambiance, the visitors can use each game or play automates, thanks to 25-cent-coins.

This museum is composed of the Ed Zelinsky’s private collection, who began this collection when he was only 11. Today, the Musée Méchanique is a for-profit museum, and it is owned and managed by the son of the collector. The elder Zelinsky opened his museum at Playland, San Francisco, in the 1960’s. In 2002 the National Park Service decided to relocate the Musée Méchanique to Fisherman’s Wharf, the place where it is now.

This place is not really famous, the visitors can find it when they walk along the Fisherman’s Wharf. However, everybody can have fun there, it is a journey through time, where we feel like children.

To my mind the most representative figure of the museum is the « Laffing Sal » or « Laughing Sal », which as been described as « famously creepy » . It is a laughing automaton. As memories, visitors can also bring back kinds of « souvenir coins » made out of two quarters crushed and engraved as a touristic city place picture, or black and white picture made by an old photomaton.


Julie Mitjana