Tag Archives: Madame Tussauds

House of Wax

When I was younger than I can imagine ever being, my parents took my brother and me to Niagara Falls for vacation. I remember that my dad and my brother were able to take the trip on the “Maid of the Mist” boat that allows you to “Hear the roar of 600,000 gallons of water crashing down around you every second!” I suspect that they went because he was older than me and had disaster struck, at least my mom would be left with someone. Not exactly a bonus, I think in retrospect.

Another place I remember going to was the Tussaud’s wax museum. Instead of being interested in seeing the celebrities that didn’t seem more life-like than the mannequins in the flagship J.L. Hudson’s department store in downtown Detroit (once the tallest department store in the country, at 440 feet; closed in 1986, imploded in 1998, and being turned into a mixed-use building that is to open this year), my brother and I spent our time wide-eyed at the scary exhibits (e.g., the guillotine and related headless individual).

Until I started writing this I had always thought that we were at the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. But my memory was dashed as though 600,000 gallons of water came tumbling down.

Turns out that it was the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks. Louis was a great-grandson of Marie Tussaud (a.k.a., “Madame”). Apparently he saw that great-grandma was doing well, so he opened his own shop in London in 1890. Unfortunately it burned down six months later. But he preserved (obviously) and now there are outlets not only in Canada, but in India, Thailand and elsewhere.

Evidently a global interest in faux people.

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