The Museum of Interesting Things is an interactive traveling exhibition
of antiques and inventions. To watch video story Click
It formed or should we say was “discovered” when curator
and founder Denny Daniel started working as a freelance filmmaker/documentor
and photo retoucher/restorer for such companies as The Statue
of Liberty/Ellis Island, Songs of Love and the New York Times.
Amassing his collection of antiques since the 80’s and having
had over 20 museum and gallery exhibitions of his own work at
locations like the Chelsea Art Museum he decided to use his knowledge,
experience, contacts and extensive collection of over 300 antiques
to start an enterprise that would inspire students and some of
us in the “real” world to learn from the past and
innovate a better future.
is also on the board of the 19th Century Society (part of the
Greater Astoria Historical Society) as well as their treasurer
and social media expert. He also is an organizer for the NYC Steampunk
meet, both with several thousand members. He is also on the advisory
board or the Beax Arts Society which has been around since the
mid 1800's and on the advisory board of the New York Stereoscopic
Society. So is one of the most Board people!
The epiphany that inspired the Museum of Interesting Things idea
was actually two events. The recession that disillusioned so many
ironically for Denny spurred a buying frenzy of various interesting
or strange antiques. The neighbors' kids would visit the apartment
to open the multiple boxes that arrived with cool items like a
metal wind-up roller coaster. One day a 1901 Thomas Edison Cylinder
phonograph arrived with a curved large horn. The neighbors' child
Enouch came to visit and see. Erecting it was complicated but
the young mind enjoyed postulating various combinations until
he figured out how to put it together and make it work. That was
when Denny realized he needed to put the stuff he owned to work,
inspiring people to invent and innovate.
On the field of the old Shea Stadium, DennyDaniel was filming
an event for Songs of Love. They had written a song for a critically
ill child and had the crowd of Shea Stadium sing the chorus live
for the sick child. On that field he realized the grandeur of
such an idea.
As far as staff we would like to thank Sharon, the Branch and
children’s specialist in the public library system, as well
as a teacher at the university level of library science, for helping
as researcher and caption writer and congratulate her for her
recent promotion as city manager, we will miss her. Jon and Jan
who man the Massachusetts contingent and have worked in marketing
and healthcare for many companies including Sony. Debi who has
worked at many major organizations like Coney Island USA and the
American Cancer Society works on development and operations management,
setup and presentation and so much more help! Max
who is a nuclear and history expert helps with research and caption
writing as well as setup and presentation. Lisa who works in healthcare
helps with show setup and presentation and some outreach. Grace
who is an antiques specialist helps with research and acquiring
items as well as our prohibition expert and setup /presenation
and our secret speakeasy bartender with Adam. Orin who works with
exhibiting and is our science specialist, and Nigia is a publisher,
fine artist and has produced numerous art and multi-media exhibitions
in and around NYC for many years is our art director. Asif is
a film maker who helps us with set up and videography as well
as Orin who is also a film maker and designer who helps with set
up and videography. Alison is a fine artist who has appeared on
nearly every TV news show and many galleries she studied at the
School of Visual Arts and was a toy store manager for over 5 years
in NYC she is our artist and toy specialist. We also have developed
relationships with over 20 antique dealers all over the U.S.,
Europe and the Middle East. We also have to thanks the NYC small
business agencies that have been an incredible resource, support
and help. We also have numerous interns and volunteers who are
all either artists or antiques enthusiasts/specialists that help
with every aspect of the business. We now have offices in NJ and
Mass, as well as NY and other states. David & Norbert in New
Jersey are our newest antique helpers both studying to be in the
Today there are 8 specialties that coincide with the curriculum
in our public schools as well as being fun and interesting for
kids and adults! The departments are: Science, Math, Literature,
Medical, Toys, Music, Household and Photography. We recently formed
2 new designations within the museum for Green Power items that
inspire the next generation to learn from the ingenuity of the
past generations. For example, Crystal Radio is a radio that runs
using no electricity at all, just the power inherent in our airwaves!
There is also a new designation for holyland/antiquities that
includes items from as far back as the Roman Empire, like a 1800
year old metal fire starter that would have been a Roman soldiers'
standard issue pocket lighter.
The Museum is based in NYC but like Barnum & Baileys circus
(another inspiration of ours) it can travel anywhere. Omitting
elephants from our collection makes that easier! There is also
no demographic that cannot benefit from learning from the past.
Our captions and demonstrations appeal and inspire people from
4th graders to senior citizens. All of whom enjoy seeing items
like a butter churn or wind-up wooden box telephone from the turn
of the century. We even have a second set of captions and demonstrations
already made for kindergarten to 3rd graders.
We own all our items and there are hundreds! We are always researching
and acquiring more, often at the request of our patrons who remember
fondly some historical toy or gadget from their childhood. Our
doorman Steve even requested an 8 track player; we have 3 now.
Our target locations for exhibition also has no limits. Just like
the Phantom of the Opera, we can put on an exhibition in a small
or large school, university, hospital, anywhere with a room we
can set up a few tables and demonstrate our knowledge and toys.
We are entering an era where America has to regain its innovative
and entrepreneurial edge in the world market again. The purpose
of The Museum of Interesting Things is to juxtapose the past with
the present. Such products as the Ipod are the brainchild of numerous
inventions from the phonograph to the radio to computational machines
and computers. This is a show with a not-so-hidden message, that
we can innovate again as a nation one person (or group) at a time.
are some special Junior HS, H.S. & University Professors that
me who I should mention and thank. In order of appearance in my
Bloom - Science - I learned to analyze
Prof. Dickens - Math Geometry - I learned to postulate
Abbe Raven - English - She taught me a Tale of Two Cities, to
write & inspired me.
She was the first person to bring literature to life for me.
Michael Hanifan - Literature - To love life, reading & always
learn. He also started
my love of antique books and all culture. I will miss him forever.
Robert Jesky - Literature - To experience and learn
Walter Zaritzky - Politics - I learned the Socratic method and
that Roadwarriors can be compared to the fall of Rome given the
course my parents, who taught me to respect all people, enjoy
people like family, stay loyal to my friends forever and always