Museum collection keeps written word alive

October 25, 2011 3:28:28 PM PDT
Bob's Magazine Museum in Skokie is a shrine to the days before computers, a place where the written word is king.

"I was thirteen years old at home doing my homework. My father came home and said ... Bob, the president's been shot and killed. I ran out and got a newspaper for him and for me and that gave birth to this place," Bob Katzman said.

Katzman's shop originally was in Morton Grove but two years ago he moved to Skokie where visitors get to stroll through an era before electronic news. There's plenty to see.

"A hundred and forty thousand," Katzman said. "Yes, sir. And newspapers. Our oldest newspaper is 1576. It's from England and it's something nasty about the Catholics. It's on the wall. It's on display. Anyone can see it if they come here."

About a month ago Katzman decided to take his rock n' roll magazine collection out of storage and put it on display. He says it's a one of a kind.

"It's 300 different magazines covering 50 years of rock and roll history. Every one is distinct. It's 50-feet long and 5-feet high. It starts in the late sixties and goes until relatively recently."

He says his only regret is that business is way down. The recession has him fighting to keep the doors open -- but he wants to stay in business for today's internet kids.

"I want teachers to come and bring their classes. It's free. I want them to see the world when paper existed before everything was digital. Where something printed 50 years ago , 500 years ago still exists," Katzman said.

The collection is not on computer; it's all in Katzman's head. He claims to be the perfect 1930s man, who just happens to be living in the wrong century.

The Magazine Museum
4906 Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 677-9444

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