Bob Paquette Museum—Page Two
There are more than 1,000 microphones and electric sound transmitters lining the shelves and displayed on the blue-carpeted floor of Paquette’s wood-paneled office.

The oldest is a liquid telephone device invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and built that same year. There are microphones the size of ladybugs, microphones the size of steering wheels. There is a microphone that belonged to Adolph Hitler, and one, weighing 14 pounds, that was carried by Admiral Richard E. Byrd during one of his explorations of the Antarctic.

There are things that look like microphones but aren’t, such as a bottle of cologne that looks like a trucker’s CB mike—it’s called Breaker 18—and there are things that don’t look like microphones but are, the most interesting of which is what appears to be an over-sized globe mounted on a lamp stand.

There was a time, Paquette explained, when performers felt silly singing without an audience to a box full of wires, and some were afraid they might get electrocuted. The globe microphone was designed to hide the wires and give the singer the sense that he or she was performing for the world.

Paquette used to loan his microphones to moviemakers, and pieces of his collection have appeared in Raging Bull and City Heat. Paquette got out of the movie business after loaning Woody Allen 18 microphones for his movie Zelig.

“He never gave them back,” Paquette said.

—From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
for April 19, 2002


Visit Page 3 (of 3) of the Paquette Museum tour.