Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

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Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, is devoted to a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities. Exhibits include, for example, the classic gypsy Fortune teller machine that used to grace many a carnival sideshow. Most of the machines still function, so visitors are encouraged to bring change.[1] The museum's founder, Marvin Yagoda, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square-foot (510 m2) museum for 50 years.[2] Yagoda was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus; he has been involved in appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers.[3][4] Marvin Yagoda died on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.[5]

Amongst the collection is P.T. Barnum's version of the Cardiff Giant.[6][7]

Another oddity is one of Sing Sing Prison's Electric Chairs in which 30 people died.[8]

An automaton "food inspector" is set up to continuously vomit into a pile of milk bottles.[9]

Tally Hall, a rock band from nearby Ann Arbor, has titled an album after the museum.


  1. ^ Semion, Bill (September 1, 2000). Fun with the Family in Michigan: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids (6th ed.). Globe Pequot. pp. 59 of 352. ISBN 0762708085. Retrieved August 4, 2011.  ISBN 978-0762708086
  2. ^ Godfrey, Linda S.; Moran, Mark; Sceurman, Mark (2006). Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets (hardcover). New York: Sterling Publishing. ISBN 1402739079. Retrieved August 4, 2011.  ISBN 9781402739071
  3. ^ Marvin Yagoda (2008). "1972 Nutting Associates Computer Space". Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. 
  4. ^ Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum spot on American Pickers television show
  5. ^ Wisely, John (9 Jan 2017). "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum founder dies". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum". Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ Nicklell, Joe (May–June 2009), "Cardiff's Giant Hoax", Skeptical Inquirer, 33 (3) 
  8. ^ Faraci, Devin (December 16, 2011). "Hit The Road: Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum". BadAssDigest. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum Atlas Obscura". Retrieved January 16, 2013. 

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Coordinates: 42°31′31″N 83°21′42″W / 42.52525°N 83.3618°W / 42.52525; -83.3618