Museum of Useful Things: The Beauty of Function

Store Profile

  • Location: online only
  • Specialty: Simple, well-designed necessities
  • Price range: ($) Budget
  • Website:

Store History

  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquarters: Cambridge, Ma.

The Museum of Useful Things is returning to the web, where it began over 11 years ago. New developments allow us to have the site we envisioned years ago - a forum | store | repository of useful things. We are presenting an edited collection of our favorite Museum of Useful Things products, some old, some brand new, and some of our own design. And, we are sharing our collection of useful vintage items and industrial images on our blog. Our product collection has evolved over the years, some products are no longer made, some didn’t make the cut, some are new discoveries and some are the same ones we started with years ago. Our parameters and aesthetic do not necessarily define useful to everyone. We refer to products and tools that have a clear function, get something done, and do it in a pleasing way to the user. The Museum of Useful Things byline has always been “the beauty of function” which to us represents the satisfaction of a well-designed and economical product (not just in price, but in usage) made of appropriate materials, that does the job well, intuitively if possible. Not all useful things are tools, we include products for storage, reference, and other specific and necessary uses.

Sometimes the most simple of tools offer the best user experience. At Museum of Useful Things, you will find classic, well-designed objects that provide optimum functionality while staying free of all those bells and whistles.

For over eleven years, Museum of Useful Things has showcased products that have withstood the test of time, thanks to their classic designs. Their line of simple objects run the gamut from dust pans and kitchen timers to laundry carts and giant rubber bands. The hard to find industrial and vintage style inventory is full of home tools and useful items that will provide the basic joy of a job well done, won't cost a fortune and will look great in just about any style home.

Images via Museum of Useful Things