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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Popeye Museum – Chester, Illinois

The Popeye Museum in Chester, Illinois thrills fans of the popular cartoon character with memorabilia representing almost every era and incarnation of pop culture’s most recognizable sailor.

Created by cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar, Popeye made his debut in 1929 as part of Segar’s Thimble Theatre cartoon strip. The popularity of Popeye grew throughout the years with Max Fleischer adapting the cast of characters for cartoon shorts that brought Popeye and his gang to a larger audience. The Popeye Museum capitalizes on the success of the spinach-loving sailor. Located within the store Spinach Can Collectibles in Chester (the birthplace of Segar), the Museum offers a look at the life and times of Popeye. Visitors are reminded of the character’s love for Olive Oyl and the rivalry that existed with Bluto, his archnemesis. The relatively tiny Museum is packed with toys, games, photos, comic strips, lunch boxes, and figures relating to the long-running franchise. Owners Mike and Debbie are usually on hand to greet visitors and provide details about the colourful history behind the characters.

The town of Chester is rightfully proud of its connection to Popeye. The town is dotted with statues and other reminders of Segar’s achievements and the Popeye Picnic brings flocks of enthusiasts to the area each September to celebrate the impact of Popeye the Sailorman. Toot toot.


Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.