When you visit the World’s Largest Small Electric Appliance Museum, you know exactly what you are going to get, thanks to one man’s obsessive collection of vintage machines.
Richard Larrison of Diamond, Missouri has a very specific obsession. For years he has been collecting appliances no bigger than would fit on a kitchen counter. After polishing them up, and making them presentable, the appliances get put on one of the glass-covered shelves for display in the small museum attached to a western wear store. All manner of home appliance and domestic contraption can be found on display in the little museum. Kitschy hair dryers, vintage hot dog roasters (including the “Pup In A Poke” machine and the “Hot Dog Electrocuter”), popcorn poppers, razors, and much more. However, by far the most popular item on display are toasters. The museum holds over 700 of them.
The museum is definitely solely focused on small appliances, but that is not all it holds. There is also a sampling of competitive toasting ribbons from festivals where, yes, that is a thing.
Today the quaint little museum holds over 7,000 items from the age of kitchen and home convenience. It is a strange little museum, but well worth a trip for anyone interested in the history of product design or singularly focused obsessions. Who knows if it is truly the world’s largest, it is certainly one of the most interesting small appliance museums around.
Know Before You Go
Attached to J.R.'s Western Store. I-44 exit 18A. Drive south on Hwy 59 for two miles. Look for the large yellow boot and windmill on the right. Near the intersection of State Highway 59 and MO-FF/Newton Rd.