Cambridge, MA: A fresh perpective on the utilitarian
There are no walls, no guards, no Acoustiguides at The Museum of Useful Things.
Gift shop? Definitely.
This museum is really a curated collection of stuff that's cool because it's perfectly useful or useful perfectly. The items are part of the Cambridge- and Boston-based shops Black Ink, which carry 'unexpected necessities'. And they've carved out a niche of Useful Things (some of which they design) — "products/tools that have a clear function, get something done, and do it in a way that is pleasing to the user."
For over a decade, MUT has championed the beauty-in-the-utility of a Crown ball of string, 4-way rubber bands, a manual pencil sharpener that stops you when the pencil is sharp. There are measuring cups, a grooming brush, an ingenious needle-threader.
You can browse Black Ink stores when you're in Boston or hit their website. It's not only fun shopping, you'll never look at a paper clip the same way again.