The International Center for the History of Electronic Games™ (ICHEG) is located within the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. The museum collects video games, computer games, console games, arcade games, handheld games and digital toys. In additional to an on-line photo gallery of over 100 arcade games, the Museum features a collection of arcade cabinets.
In addition, the Strong National Museum of Play includes vintage comic books, children books, Barbie dolls, super-heroes & toys.
The Musée Mécanique is one of the world's largest (over 200) privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. (You can play them!)
Located on Pier 45 at the foot of Taylor Street in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Free Admission Every Day!
The Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus Indiana has been beautifully restored to an early 1900 elegance with its
50-foot double backbar of mahogany, mirrors and marble (1911)
Pair of Mexican onyx soda fountains (1905)
Tiffany-style lamp and water dispenser (1905)
Welte orchestrion, a rare self-playing organ (1908)
The Museum portion of Zaharakos features antique mechanical music machines and early ice cream parlor items.
Visit online at the Zaharakos Web Site for details of the renovation. You can also see how the rare Welte orchestrion is was restored and view several items from the soda fountain and mechanical music museum.
Beacon Hill, NY
Here is a museum about an hour north of NYC that allows you to play the machines. The world's very first video games, including examples of virtually all Atari, Magnavox Odyssey, Mattel Intellivision, Telstar, Vectrex and more are on display &.some available to play. Unfortunately the museum is open exclusively to private events of 25 or more people.
Pittsburgh, PA In a beautiful english manor type house in suburban Pittsburgh is the Bayernhof Museum.
The collection is displayed in almost every room in the house. There are many antique music boxes, “monkey” organs, a Wurlitzer carousel organ, a Reproduco Piano-Pipe organ used in funeral homes and theaters, an Encore Automatic Banjo. There is also a Mills Deluxe Violano Virtuoso player violin and piano combination, a Knabe Ampico reproducing grand piano that faithfully “reproduces” the playing of the artist who originally recorded the roll and a huge Seeburg Pipe Organ Orchestra that was once used to accompany silent films to name just a few.
Within the historic St Peter's Village, there is house that features an arcade on the first floor that contains only electromechanical games and a few pre 1983 videos. Lots of fun.
St Peter's Village is located on Route 23 and Saint Peters Road. For more information, call: 610-469-3809
Here are some places in Great Britain where you can see and play old English coin machines. Go to: Penny Machine Web Site.
In the southwest corner of Indiana is Dr. Ted's Musical Marvels Museum. You can see and hear all kinds of vintage musical instruments.
This spectacular collection embodies pieces from the 1800's to the mid-1900's. Take the guided tour (about 90 minutes) and you'll get the history of each wonderful machine PLUS you'll hear them come to life!
For more information, call 812-937-4250 or visit their web site at http://www.drteds.com/index.html
The Henry Ford Musuem is known for its car collection and Greenfield Village, but it is also a great place to see some great original 1950s neon sign.
There is an authrentic Howard Johnson sign, a McDonald's Hamburger sign selling hamburgers at 5 cent each, a Holidy Inn sign, an A&W sign and more. You'll also see an authentic diner and a motel room the way it really was.
For more information, visit their web site at: http://www.hfmgv.org/
Want to see a Scopitone movie jukebox in operation?
Then visit the Belcourt Theatre at 2102 Belcourt Ave in Nashville TN. They have one in their lobby that you can play.
Cedar Park, Ohio
(submitted by a reader)
I recently visted Cedar Point theme park in Ohio and in the oldfashioned part of the park we visted a little wax museum type place. In the back of the room there was an original 1940's grandmother fortune telling machine or as the little cards that come out of the slot say "Grandmothers Prophesies" machine.
I put a quarter in an sure enough she started to move an everything and a small card popped out of the slot. It said my wish had been granted and told me a little about my fortunes in the future.
North American Dark Rides & Funhouses
If you are into carnival funhouses and rides that operate in the dark, then the The Dark Ride and Funhouse Historical Society will help you find one near you.
When you are visiting the Rock Around the Jukebox Show in Rosmalen, The Netherlands, you may want to visit The National Museum
'from Musical Clock to Street Organ' in Utrecht. For more information, visit the Museum Web Site
Tonopah, Virginia City, Las Vegas, & Reno Nevada.
There are over 200,000 slots in Nevada, but they are mostly the newer ones.
To see some a variety of antique slots, visit, the Station House in Tonopah NV and the Nevada Gambling Museum in Virginia City.
The Casino Legends Hall of Fame in the Tropicana Hotel also has a collection of gaming memorabilia and slots.
Finally, don't forget the Liberty Belle Saloon in Reno for one of the best collection of old slots in the country.
If you want to see some real life original Polk character slot machines, then visit the Pioneer Hotel. It has six life size hand carved wooden character slots from the 1950s. While in Laughlin, visit the Classic Car showroom in the Riverside Resort. They have over 30 antique slots on display.
Long Beach, WA
The Marsh's Free Museum is known as place where weird stuff is found. A skeleton, a shrunken head, hundreds of stuff animals, including a two headed calf and an eight legged lamb.
The best part is the collection of arcade and gaming machines and a bunch of music machines, including a Mills Violano.
For more information, call 360-642-2188
Travers City, Michigan
The Travers City Music House looks like a great place to see a great variety of music machines, player pianos, nickelodeons, orchestrians, and more.
The two floors of Fort Discovery at the National Science Center in Augusta Georgia cover 128,000 square feet and house more than 270
interactive exhibits. All of the exhibits are hands-on or "minds-on" activities that
challenge the visitor to learn more. Exhibit topics range from the fundamentals of
electricity to the complexities of biomedical equipment. A high-tech theater experience
traces the dramatic evolution of human communication from the caveman era through
modern day advances. Attractions around the center are designed to involve the visitor
and spark the imagination, particularly near the giant Tesla Coil where our own Indoor
Lightning Storm is created. There is even a mutoscope to illustrate the persistence of vision. For more information, see: http://www.NationalScienceCenter.org/FortDiscovery/ImagingAndPerception/Mutoscope.htm
Other Museums Worth Visiting
Here are some more neat places to visit on your next trip:
-The Museum of Neon Antiques in Los Angeles, California
-The Museum of Cartoon Art in Rye Brook, New York
-The 1910 Corner Drug Store/Ice Cream Parlour in the Kansas City, Missouri Museum
-Memory Lane Old Time Arcade in Frankenmuth, Michigan
-Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Seattle, Washington
-Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, California
-Antique Music Museum in Franklin, Pennsylvania
Let me know if you can recommend any other neat museums E-mail me
See and Hear over 100 old-time automatic musical instruments. Calliopes, Carousel Band Organs, Music Boxes, Nickelodeons and Orchestrions.
They are located in the Debence Antique Music World. Call 814-432-8350 or visit the Web Page for more information.
San Francisco, California
Many collectors like to decorate their gamerooms with the pin-ups there were popular during the 1940s and 1950s. The most popular pin-up artist of that era was Alberto Varga. At the time, Varga's work was featured in monthly issues of Playboy and Esquire. At the San Francisco Art Exchange, near Union Square, you can see some of his original works.
You don't have to go down to Atlanta to see a great Coca Cola museum. The Pause That Refreshes Museum opened just a few years before the Atlanta museum and features Coca Cola collectibles dating back to the early 1900's.
Gumball collectors may find the Coca Cola gum display especially interesting. In 1905, the company produced a gum that tasted like the drink. The drink obviously succeeded, but unfortunately the gum didn't.
No visit to Atlanta is complete without a visit to the World of Coca Cola which is just a short walk from Underground Atlanta.
First served at a pharmacy soda fountain in 1886, Coca-Cola is now enjoyed in more than 160 countries, more than 448 million times a day.
The story of Coca Cola, past, present, and future, can be found at a new three-story pavilion adjacent to Underground Atlanta, the city's downtown retail and entertainment complex.
The pavilion features fascinating exhibits, an eye-popping collection of memorabilia, classic radio and television advertisements, a replica of a 1930s soda fountain, and best of all, free samples of flavored soft drinks from all around the world.
Santa Cruz, California
At the center of the Amusement Park at Santa Cruz Arcade is your typical modern electronic arcade.
On the sides, however, there are 60-70 antique arcade games from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. You'll see your favorites; mutoscopes, diggers, two-player hockey, shooting galleries, etc. All are playable at their original 14 and 54 prices
West of Chicago, Illinois
Here's a place which has something for everyone. It's the Seven Acres Antique Village and Museum.
It is a wild west town and antique village combined. There are exhibits on antique phonographs and World War military relics.
The town includes an old-time toy shop, doctor's shop, barber shop, movie theater, and most importantly for gameroom collectors, an antique games arcade featuring shooting galleries, mutoscopes, and fortune telling machines.
The Hook's Historical Durg Store and Pharmacy Museum is an authentic old-time drug store.
The main features are rare ash and walnut fixtures, ornately carved and accentuated with arched glass advertising signs of unusual gold leaf and mother of pearl letters that were first used in the 1850s.
For coin machine lovers, there are a dozen or so antique coin machines that were actually used in these pharmacies years ago.
For example, you can play a nickelodeleon or weigh yourself on a fancy balance scale. On display, you can find several old stamp machines, an aspirin dispenser, and gumball/peanut vendors.
The museum also features a vintage soda fountain. Yes, you can purchase an ice cream soda. Another Hook's museum is located in Nashville, Indiana.
For advertising collectors, there is the American Advertising Museum. It just opened a few years ago and covers the history of advertising from the 1600s to the present including print, radio, and television advertisements.
Yes, for many of us, you can see for the first time, the Burma Shave signs which were commonplace not that long ago.
The Museum collection has more than 5000 original print ads, 1000 radio commercials, and 1000 television commercials.