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Norristown, Pennsylvania

American Treasure Tour

Delicate Wurlitzers, creepy clowns, and The Noid all share space in this insane explosion of kitsch history. 

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but in Pennsylvania’s American Treasure Tour it’s as though the concept of trash never even existed.  

Consisting of a collection of collections, the American Treasure Tour’s whiplash-inducing variations in content and interest are the work of a single, secret private collector. Located in a pristine, former tire factory the myriad nostalgia-inducing items number in the tens of thousands and are separated into related groups across the 100,000 square foot facility.

There are collections of beautifully restored self-playing orchestras, gangs of life-size clown statues, countless stuffed animals hailing from carnivals and promotional campaigns, decades worth of movie posters, grandfather clocks, porcelain dolls, nutcrackers, signs, and almost anything else one could imagine from the last century or more of cultural memory. There is even a full assortment of vintage automobiles.

The thing that sets the American Treasure Tour apart from its similar junk box rivals is how immaculately restored and preserved every piece in the collection is. The cars look like they just rolled off the factory line, the dolls look as though they were never played with, and almost all of the polished wooden music boxes still plays tunes. In fact many of them have been upgraded to play at the touch of a tour guide’s iPad.

Due to the large amount of man power required to operate the space and the sheer size of the collection, tours are by appointment only and are conducted via private tram service that driven throughout the sprawling collection. No one is sure why the anonymous owner amassed such a collection of memorabilia, but many a traveling tour group is glad that they did.         

 

Know Before You Go

PA 422 to the Oaks exit. Turn left at the light. Turn left onto Mill Road. Look for American Treasure Way after the stop sign. The American Treasure Tour is easier to visit now. It is open for walk-in tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. (check their website before going at: www.americantreasuretour.com). It's not the exact same tour groups get, but still a great chance to see their amazing collection.