Just 25c to see the dangers of opium!


I’d always intended to go to the Musee Mecanique after reading about it on Maggie Mason’s wonderful guide to San Francisco’s tourist attractions.  I hadn’t set out looking for it, but then while wandering around the surreal tourist trap that is Fisherman’s Wharf I accidentally stumbled across it.  Hooray!

This place is awesome.  It’s filled with antique arcade machines, some over a hundred years old.  There are your standard machines that tell your fortune, ones for target shooting, plus several pianolas that play “old time music.”  My favourite has to be the Opium Den – put in 25 cents and the figures come to life, stumbling around the room crazy high.  The photo’s not very good, but you should be able to make out a definite tinge of “yellow peril” to the proprietor of the establishment…

Photo of an antique arcade machine.  The sign at the top reads "opium den" and behind the glass there's a scene of an underground opium den, complete with several figures.  In the middle sits Chinese man with very yellow skin!


2 Responses to “Just 25c to see the dangers of opium!”

  1. 1 Sandro

    Does your fancy phone take videos? I want moving images of opium den figures being high.

    That is all.

    • 2 justsomethings

      I’ll be down that way again tomorrow (on my way to Alcatraz!) so I’ll see what I can do. There’s also a simulated guillotining that you may find enjoyable.

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