François Richard's Scientific Devices and Odd Machinery – Saint-Ouen, France - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Saint-Ouen, France

François Richard's Scientific Devices and Odd Machinery

A charming flea market shop dedicated to retrofuturistic apparati. 

Sorry, François Richard's Scientific Devices and Odd Machinery is permanently closed.

Communication, photography and music didn’t always come from a single ultracompact device that fits in your pocket and recharges within hours.

Way before “do-it-all” gadgets became commonplace and took over our daily life, technology was once imposing and awe-inspiring, demonstrating its ingenuity with cranks, blinking light bulbs and beautiful mechanical genius.

For visitors interested in the history of science, who love obsolete mechanical wonders, or who simply feel nostalgic about zoetropes, steam machines and other devices no longer used in our current era, François Richard’s Fleamarket Boutique is the perfect trip down a clanking, humming, hissing memory lane.

The boutique is something of a holy temple for obsolete modernity. There are so many obscure treasures scattered about that visitors scarcely know where to turn first. In one corner, you can find an electroshock apparatus that might have harmed more patients than it cured. One another rack, a magic lantern complete with hand-painted slides. Several extraordinary machines are so old and obscure that they are quasi-unidentifiable. Chances are, if you’re surprised by the way something looks, you’ll be stunned by what it was used for.

So don’t be shy; ask François – he’s there every day. You’ll learn a lot, and you might even walk out with a respect for progress and the onward march of scientific positivism.

Know Before You Go

Marche Vernaison Allee 3 - Stand 107bis Metro Porte de Clignancourt ( Ligne 4 )