A Visit to the Museum of Industrial Culture, Moscow

A Visit to the Museum of Industrial Culture, Moscow

Recently, Olivier and I went to a very unusual museum.  It’s called the Museum of Industrial Culture. 

What does that name conjure up for you?  Industrial machinery?  Business/office machines?  Machines for the home?

Well, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect.

So, we set off one Saturday to find out.

Finding the museum

We went by metro, and after leaving the metro station, we started walking to the museum.  In the wrong direction!  Not to worry, we found a great car museum which we’re planning to go back and visit one day!

So, we turned around, took a different street, and found ourselves, this time, going in the right direction.  It’s quite a long walk, walking down what appears to be a winding country road.  We finally arrived at the right address.

What was Waiting for Us?

As we walked through the gates, it seemed to be one big junkyard.  In the front yard are old phone boxes, a door covered with different door handles, parts of a plane, theatre seats, and a lot of other strange objects.

Old phone boxes
Old phone boxes
An old phone
An old phone
Old seats from a theatre
Old seats from a theatre
A plane
Parts of a plane
door with handles
A door with lots of different handles attached – there were more on the other side!

Then, we have the building that the museum is housed in.

It’s a huge warehouse!  One big room, crammed with almost everything that people use in their daily lives.  Toys, musical instruments, furniture, computers, phones, traffic lights, an airplane!

Traffic lights
Traffic lights

It wasn’t how I imagined in would be.  Not at all!

kids toys
Kids toys

Just inside the entrance was a desk, with a man standing behind it.  I asked him how much was the entrance fee – no charge!  There was a donation box on the desk, although he didn’t refer to it.  It was basically, come in, look around, have a great time!

I don’t know how long we spent inside this museum.  Time seemed to stop while we were in there.  And with every step we discovered something new.

What did we Discover?

Some things are behind barriers, and so you can’t touch them.  But there are a lot of things displayed within reach, and you’re allowed to pick them up, feel them, play with them, discover them.

Looking up, we saw a plane hanging above our heads.

A plane
A plane above us

And there’s even a speedboat hiding in all the mess!  And motor bikes!

speedboat
A speedboat
motor bike
A motorbike with a side car

There’s a corner dedicated to life with Lenin.  A kitchen.  A child’s bedroom.

lenin
There are many objects relating to Lenin
kitchen
A fully equipped kitchen!
child's bedroom
And a child’s bedroom

I can’t tell you everything that’s there, there’s just so much stuff!  And rather interestingly sorted into groups, despite the apparent randomness of the place.

Where is it?

The museum’s website is in Russian – but you can find the address, how to get there, and other interesting information about the history of this museum (use an online translator).

Some people might say it’s just a big room full of junk (as I read in one Trip Advisor review), but I disagree.  It’s a record of our progress in the 20th century.  A time capsule of our lives, our parents’ and grandparents’ lives. 

old tvs
A visual history of TVs

I think that this kind of museum is invaluable.  Everybody should visit this museum!  We should show our children these pieces of history.  We should be explaining to them and showing them what life was like before smartphones invaded every part of our lives! Although, there is a section with computers!

computer
Computer with 2 different floppy disk formats – remember them?

All in all, this is a great museum for everyone – young, old, and older!  The children we saw there were having a great time exploring.  And it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak or read Russian – there are no signs or labels on anything like in other museums, so nothing to read!   What you see is what you get!

video recorder
Did you have a VCR?

Of course, it could be nice to see everything labelled, organised into more controlled sections, and cleaned up a bit.  But, really, would it be any better?  Probably not.  I love this museum, and am really thankful that someone is providing it to us for free (but don’t forget to leave a donation when you leave).

Do you like it?

How do you feel about a museum that’s a bit unorganised like this one?  Do you like it?  Or do you prefer everything to be correctly displayed and labelled?  Let me know in the comments or in our Facebook Group.

I’m going to leave you with some more photos below to enjoy.

flasks
Thermos flasks
sewing machines
Sewing machines and dress-making dummies
irons
Lots of irons
washing machine
Remember these washing machines?
tvs 2
And more TVs
telephone
Something I’ve never seen before – a cover for a telephone!
rides
Kids rides outside
bicycle on train tracks
And another first for my eyes – a bicycle on the train tracks

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lorraine
Guest

Wow I bet you could spend all day and still not see everything. It looks like a yard where you would want to buy memorabilia. Just read your bio, how fab to be living in such a country, I think it’s very adventurous.
#MLSTL

Natalie
Guest

The interactive aspect of this museum would appeal to children and young-at-heart adults like us 🙂 Thanks, Cheryl, for sharing.

Pradeep
Guest

That must have been a real surprise. How interesting seeing those things displayed. Very innovative. Phone Boxes!? Nostalgic. They have all disappeared from our neighbourhoods now. A plane hanging in the air reminded me of my visit to the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia, the US, many years ago.
Indeed all that is displayed shows us how much we moved on.
The randomness and clutter can be a relief from the predictability of daily life.
(MLSTL participant. Shared the post on my social media.)

Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
Guest

Good grief – it was giving my minimalist heart palpatations!! It reminded me of my mother-in-law’s clutter house! I’m sure it was fun to visit, but I won’t be adding it to my list of things to see in Russia (if I ever get there)
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

Erica/Erika
Guest

Hi Cheryl, Nice to meet you through #MLSTL. Your “about me” is already intriguing. I like “Live. Love. Be kind.” There are likely many stories behind the “junk.” Very interesting place. The fully equipped kitchen is fun to see. First time a telephone cover for me, too:) Erica (sharing on SM)

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