Where is the Time Machine from the Time Machine? I’ve always loved the Time Machine released in 1960. This movie is probably my favorite time travel movie. The prop was perfect that they created for this great movie. The movie was based on the novel by H.G. Wells, it was directed by George Pal, starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young, and Yvette Mimieux, and featured Oscar-winning special effects.
Time Machine prop itself was co-designed by George Pal and MGM art director William Ferrari. Pal incorporated the look of a horse-drawn sleigh, inspired from the winter sleigh rides of his youth.
After the film was completed the Time Machine prop was placed into storage by MGM. In the early 70s MGM held an auction that included the famous Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz and the Time Machine. The Time Machine sold for between eight and ten thousand dollars to the owner of a traveling show.
Film historian Bob Burns tried to buy it at the auction but came up short. Around 5 years later a friend of a friend of Bob’s thought he saw the Time Machine Prop at a thrift shop in Orange California. Bob hurried over and with great excitement checked out the prop. There is was…The Time Machine in a thrift shop. It was not in good shape though. The chair was gone, the pods were broken, but the huge gold disc was in great shape.
When he got home Bob called George Pal (the director) when he got home and told him he had the Time Machine. George had given Bob the blueprints to the machine and Bob used these to restore the machine.
It only took Bob Burns and a crew 4 weeks to restore the machine and it was used in Bob’s annual Halloween show for 1976.
The original Time Machine has made appearances in other productions, including Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”, “Gremlins, Mike Jittlov’s short “Time Tripper” (1978, and used within his feature film “The Wizard of Speed and Time” in 1989) and the documentary on the making of “The Time Machine” called “The Journey Back” (1993).
Bob Burns owns a ton of movie props. I would LOVE to tour his basement. He also owns the original King Kong.