Pleasanton’s Museum on Main has opened an interactive exhibit that challenges visitors to figure out the purpose of 20 obscure or obsolete items the museum has collected over the decades.

“Some of these pieces are specialized tools that would be hard to recognize if you didn’t work with them,” said curator Ken MacLennan. “Others have more general use functions, but they’ve been overtaken by new technologies or better designs. And some were made to do things that we just don’t need done anymore.”

Each item in the exhibit, “What in the World? Unusual Objects from the Museum on Main Collections,” is labeled with a clue to its function. Visitors will be able to check their guesses against the museum’s research.

The exhibit will run through June 19 in the museum’s Phoebe Hearst Gallery. A digital version of the exhibit is also available on the museum’s website,

The museum, at 603 Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum currently requires all staff and visitors to wear facemasks and no more than 10 visitors are allowed in the museum at a time.