Activities & Resources
Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation551in Waltham, MA 02453
about Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation:
Walk across a wooden bridge, dam rushing to your left, and you'll feel as though you've entered another era. The museum, located in the former Boston Manufacturing Company mill complex, is a historical landmark. In 1814, it became the first modern factory in the world.
A staff member is available to start you on your journey. A working player piano, dissected to reveal its insides, is the first attraction. Watch your children's faces as the keys begin to move and the piano plays. It's priceless. Hams may feel compelled to do a Jerry Lee Lewis imitation. (Tell them they can't stand on the piano!)
The museum is definitely geared for those who like big machinery. Most of the machines work and the staff is happy to switch them on to let them do their thing. Be prepared for a lot of loud noise; a paper bag making machine sounded like a herd of elephants!
Attractions include a horse-drawn fire truck, a Model T automobile, and several working steam engine models. A train-like invention that runs along a short rail is a favorite among the younger kids, and the staff will gladly give little conductors a ride on the rails. A watch/clock making exhibit is located on the second floor, but that one seems a lot less exciting than the other exhibits. Expect that your kids won't have much time for it. (We'll stop now!)