Connecticut Museum Guide


The American Museum of Tort Law, the nation’s first museum dedicated to the legal system, opens on September 26, 2015 in the town of Litchfield Hills in Winsted, the hometown of museum chairman, consumer lawyer Ralph Nader.

After spending nearly half a century battling businesses over issues such as dangerous goods, Nader, 81, runs the museum at a former downtown bank to celebrate the branch of law that offers relief to anyone who is the victim of wrongdoing. from others, from careless drivers or neighbors to careless businesses.

The nonprofit educational institution hopes to raise awareness of the central role of tort law in protecting personal liberty and safety. And it will celebrate the historical and contemporary achievements of the civil justice system. Learn more from Connecticut events blogger Janet Serra.


Not in law? From military history to puppets to two-headed cows, Connecticut’s museums have something to interest everyone. We’ve brought together over 100 interesting museums in Southwest Connecticut and beyond.

Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the more unique museums on the list:

Strange and Unusual – For those with a curious sense of curiosity:

– Barnum Museum, Bridgeport:

The Barnum Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of showman PT Barnum, the father of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum is remembered for deceiving his audience with strange hoaxes, or “buzzers” as they were called in the 19th century. The museum continues this tradition. In April 2014, the Barnum Museum unveiled a skeleton of the Centaur of Tymfi – half man, half animal (photo in slide # 1).

“We are not here to convince you of anything,” said the executive director of the Barnum Museum. “You’ll have to make up your own mind. We don’t have answers… but there’s nothing more Barnum than that… It’s straight out of PT Barnum’s playbook.”

Barnum exhibited many humbugs in his museum of curiosities in New York in the 1840s, including the famous mermaid Feejee, a creature that appeared to be half ape, half fish.

– Old State House, Joseph Steward Museum of Oddities and Curiosities, Hartford:

“Painter Joseph Steward opened his collection of oddities to the public in 1797 and found a welcoming place in the attic of the Old State House in 1800. To handle the museum’s growing popularity, Steward moved across the country. rue in 1808 and continued to acquire specimens until his death away in 1822.

Although dispersed a long time ago, the collection of monsters and rarities was reassembled in the 1990s – some originals and some approximations based on historical accounts.

Exotic, colorful, stuffed birds perch in an interior window. An eight-foot-long alligator hangs from the ceiling. There are albino woodland creatures and a two-headed pig. A whale vertebra is under a table; a giant lobster claw looks like it could break a child’s head.

The ‘calf with two full heads’ was an important part of Steward’s original collection. “-

Pop culture – For consumers and entertainment addicts:

– Barker Character, Museum of Comics and Cartoon, Cheshire:

The BCCCM houses 80,000 antique toys and collectibles. According to the museum’s website, the owners “were part of a select group of people, in the 1960s, who believed that everyday objects from childhood had value for future generations, bringing back memories or expressing life. of a child through ordinary toys. , lunch boxes, games and everyday tools. “

The collection includes one of the “World’s Finest California Raisins Collections” – those dancing clay raisins that sang “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” in a 1980s commercial. Click here for video tours from some of the other pop culture props on display.

– Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, Bristol:

“The original” Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum “opened in Bristol, Connecticut in 1966, a tribute to the actors and effects artists who left us with a legacy of classic fantasy films. The Witch’s Dungeon features great characters very precise nature based on classic movies.

In the 1970s, in the 1980s, the small museum had doubled in size. He was starting to gain national attention, thanks to articles in ‘The New York Times’, ‘National Geographic’, ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ and even ‘Playboy’ “-

– Gertrude Warner Boxcar Museum, Putnam:

Do you remember the childhood books “The Boxcar Children”? This museum is entirely dedicated to the woman who wrote them – Gertrude Warner.

Visitors will find a collection of original signed books, photos and artifacts from Gertrude’s life and career as a teacher at Putman. There is also a recreation of the living space created by the Aldens, the Boxcar Children themselves.

– Timexpo Museum, Waterbury:

The Timexpo Museum is dedicated to Timex watches. Learn about the Waterbury Clock Company and its role in history. There is also a large display of vintage Mickey Mouse clocks and watches, and a “Time Tunnel” that takes you back in time.

Tips – For those with special interests:

– Ballard Institute and Puppet Museum, Mansfield:

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is part of the UConn Storrs campus.

According to the museum’s website, “In 1987, UConn Puppet Arts alumni and supporters of the Frank Ballard community established the Puppet Preservation Committee to care for and preserve the puppets that Frank Ballard had designed, built and collected. ” Frank Ballard was the first teacher to teach puppetry at UConn in 1964.

Visitors to the museum can see different types of puppets, photographs of puppets, and creations of student puppets. Students of UConn’s Puppet Arts Program – one of only two puppet programs in the country – also held puppet shows on campus.

– CRRA Trash Museum, Hartford:

“Visitors to the CRRA Trash Museum … can visit the 6,500 square feet of educational exhibits starting at the Temple of Trash. Learn about the problems with old-fashioned disposal methods, such as the city. “From problems, the tour moves to solutions, including explanations of source reduction, recycling, energy recovery from waste and landfills.” –

The museum offers packages for children’s birthdays.

– The New England Carousel Museum, Bristol:

“The New England Carousel Museum is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and preservation of working carousels and carousel memorabilia and the creation of new carousel material, for the education and enjoyment of the general public. The main mission of the New England Carousel Museum, a non-profit organization, is to preserve and protect antique wooden carousels and carousel parts. ” –

The museum is also dedicated to the restoration of the historic Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford. Visitors can help by adopting one of the horses from the arena.


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