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Brimfield Antique Guide 2000

Unique New Automobile History Museum is now open!

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Fall 2000 The Brimfield Antique Guide • Page 37
Unique New Automobile History Museum is now open!
A Time Machine of the auto age… The Museum of Automobile History
The Museum
of Automobile History
321 North Clinton St.
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 478-CARS; (315) 478-2277;
fax: (315) 432-8256;
Paul Germano
The long awaited Museum of Automobile History is now open to the public. Reflecting over two hundred years of the world’s love affair with the automobile, the museum is located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, at 321 Clinton St. It is the largest museum anywhere dedicated to memorabilia and art related to the history of the automo­bile.
Walk through the new Museum of Automobile History in downtown Syracuse, New York, and you’ll see the amazing world that the automobile has left in its wake over the past two hun­dred years, or more. An estimated ten thousand items show the car just exact­ly as people have seen it, loved it, and laughed at it, all through the years. While you’re there, you’re bound to find a bit of your own history, too, because the museum encompasses information on motorcycles and trucks, in addition to at least a thousand differ­ent makes of cars.
The Museum of Automobile History is the largest private collection of automobilia in the world. So many of its displays are one-of-a-kind that any
Walter Miller, Founder of The Museum of Automobile History
listing of the contents is a partial one, but you’ll see fine art oil paintings and drawings by American and European artists, folk-art models, rare advertising (including a set of legendary Burma-Shave roadside rhyming signs), original photographs, Detroit styling models, autographs and letters, racing memora­bilia, dealership and roadside signs, humorous prints, toys galore Hollywood movie posters, unusual auto accessories and gadgets, colorful pedal cars, showroom posters, and even sev­eral presidential-car license plates. The full collection doesn’t even fit inside the building – it takes most of the out-
side wallspace to display an eye-pop­ping set of 20 original billboards (each one measuring 20 feet by 10 feet), long-lost ads for some of the greatest American cars of the 1940s and 1950s. You won’t see anything like them any­where else (except inside the museum, where there are ten more!)."The auto­mobile is the single most important invention of our time, maybe of all time," says Walter Miller, the founder of the museum. "I’d like people to have a lot of fun being here, but I’d also like them to emerge with an idea or an understanding of what a really big thing the auto has been for all of us."
The collection is displayed in a sleek new setting, measuring 12,000 square feet, each of the two main galleries filled right up to their 25-foot ceilings. You can wander freely and find items pertaining specifically to your favorite cars. Or, going in the order suggested by the displays, you will take a walk through the Age of the Automobile, starting with a newspaper account of one of the first attempts at automaking in the 1770s, and on through to letters, posters and designers’ drawings of the cars of the 1990s.
Keep in mind that there are no actual cars at The Museum of Automobile History. While other fine collections display cars, this museum presents the entire world around the car: its humor, its tragedies; its greatest successes, and its obscure failures. If it has anything to do with the automobile; you’ll find it at The Museum of Automobile History.

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