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What Is the Baltimore Museum of Industry?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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The Baltimore Museum of Industry is a museum located in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. It was established in 1977 and showcases the industrial history of the Baltimore area, including exhibits recreating parts of a pharmacy and a machine shop. Some parts of the museum have machinery and interactive exhibits for children, and the museum also includes a library.

Located at the site of the old Platt Oyster Cannery, the Baltimore Museum of Industry focuses on the many different industries found in Baltimore. Canning was important in Baltimore, and parts of the museum attempt to recreate the cannery that stood at the museum's current location. Garment production, food production, and other factories are addressed in the museum. There is also an exhibit on Dr. Bunting's pharmacy.

Many of the exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Industry focus on pride in the Baltimore region's many achievements. There is a wall of milestones, and the museum highlights the ways in which Baltimore has contributed to the progress of America. One special exhibit offered by the Baltimore Museum of Industry is the oldest surviving steam tugboat, which is called the Baltimore. This tugboat was built in 1906 in Baltimore and is a National Historic Landmark.

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The museum offers many different special events, including golf, a farmer's market, and other interactive ventures. There is an event space available for rent, and guided tours are available as well. On certain days of the year admission is free, and members always receive free admission.

Innovations highlighted by the Baltimore Museum of Industry include the first traffic light, the world's largest copper refinery, and the first passenger railroad in the United States of America. Special items in the collection include a wooden gas pipe, a shipyard bell from the 1850s, and several unique printing presses. The photographic library holds more than 250,000 prints, including many from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. While there is a historical library for visitors, there is also a professional library for teachers and other educators.

One of most unique aspects of the Baltimore Museum of Industry is that its focus is not on the lifestyle of the elite of Baltimore, but rather on specific technological processes and the citizens who built America. Its exhibits strive to show what life was like during the 1800s and 1900s when industry was booming. The museum accomplishes this task through photographic evidence as well as re-creations of industrial locations.

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