The Bakken, previously known as The Bakken: A Library and Museum of Electricity in Life and known in the past as the Medtronic Museum of Electricity in Life, located on the shores of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States, is the World's only library and museum devoted to medical electricity. Focused on scholars and on young people, The Bakken educates visitors about the history of electricity and electromagnetism from 1200 A. D. to the present.
Unique in the world, the Bakken's collection is devoted to explaining "the historical role of electricity and magnetism in the life sciences and medicine." Approximately 11,000 written works and about 2,000 scientific instruments are stored there, some specifically for electrophysiology and electrotherapeutics. The Bakken's present director David Rhees once identified the most significant holdings as works by Jean Antoine Nollet, Benjamin Franklin
, Giovanni Battista Beccaria, Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini, Alessandro Volta, Guillame Benjamin Amand Duchenne, and Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond and the journals Annalen der Physik, the Philosophical Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society and Zeitschrift für Physik.
Many of the permanent displays are interactive and suitable for children. For example, visitors can generate a 60,000 volt spark with a Wimshurst machine. Exhibits include "The Spark of Life", "The Electrarium", "The Mystery of Magnetism", "Magnetism and the Human Body", "Batteries", "Electricity in the 18th Century" and "Frankenstein: Mary Shelley's Dream".
Architect Carl A. Gage constructed the building between 1928 and 1930 as the home of William Goodfellow who is said to have wished to impress a female friend. Goodfellow is remembered as the party who sold his dry goods store in 1904 to George Dayton, founder of today's Target Corporation. A combination of 16th century English styles including Tudor and Gothic Revival, the home was named "West Winds" and contains "dark wood interior paneling, open-beamed ceilings, grouped and arched windows and stained glass". The original home had fifteen rooms and eleven bathrooms. When he died in 1944, Goodfellow donated the buildings to the Girl Scouts. The family of Richard Cornelius lived there between 1953 and 1976, after which the house became the Bakken museum.