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Evanston, Illinois: American Toby Jug Museum

Jugs with mugs! The obsessive collection of Stephen M. Mullins. Over 8,000 examples of colorful ceramic mugs shaped like everything from Hitler to the stars of Star Wars.

910 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
On the west side of Chicago Ave. just north of its intersection with Main St. There's a long, modern building with a truck entrance at its north end; the Museum door is next to that truck entrance. You have to buzz to be let in.
W-F 10-5, 1st and 3rd Sa 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Nazi mugs.

American Toby Jug Museum

The Museum houses the collection of Stephen M. Mullins and is in the basement of some condos/retail space with a door on street level. It was easy enough to find and the sign said it was open, although you need to buzz to be let in.

The collection has over 8,000 pieces and we were informed that Mr. Mullins had just purchased 2,000 more and was attempting to work them in. Toby is said to have been a hearty drinker at his local pub back in the 1700s. When he died young his mates had his ashes made into a mug of his likeness that they kept at the bar so he could be near his favorite beverage.

We met Mr. Mullins, who has a Toby Jug of his likeness in his collection as well. We spent a good 45 minutes wandering through the cases looking at mugs from the early 1800s through to today and it was fascinating, more so than we expected. My wife remembers her grandparents having some of these, which spurred our interest.

[SKK, 04/09/2016]

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