If you find yourself either attending Michigan State University in East Lansing or paying a visit to the Abrams Planetarium on the campus, make sure to stop by the office of the Planetarium’s production coordinator, John French. Two of his big bookshelves are officially known as the Moist Towelette Museum. Yes, this odd collection is open to the public (although there are only a handful of visitors a year). Where else can you see more than a thousand, mostly unused, moist towelettes from around the world? We’re talking about wet wipes from a Turkish Shell station, the U.S. Embassy in Sweden, the former Trump’s Castle in Atlantic City, and even the original Star Trek series. How can you pass up such an opportunity!
The collection’s oldest item is a box of “Wash Up!” towelettes from 1963. And believe it or not, there is even a celebrity gallery, which includes just one item, a used wipe donated by “Car Talk” hosts Ray and the late Tom Magliozzi. Although French has been collecting these items for two decades, he is not quite sure why he is specifically interested in moist towelettes. Apparently it started as a joke. He also wanted to make the world’s first website dedicated to moist towelettes. But he sums it up best when he says, “I think everybody just has an urge to collect something.” French is probably correct. After all, his co-worker, with whom he shares an office, has a collection of PEZ dispensers, which is NOT a “museum.”