Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation

Celebrating America's industrial heritage and inspiring future innovation.

The Pratt & Whitney Drill Bit Story

oral historyBob PerryComment

One of the things Francesca and I are learning in our early days here at the Museum is that a high percentage of our visitors come with a personal or family history involving industry. - If we're lucky, we get the opportunity to engage them and learn a bit about their history, and perhaps hear a personal story or two.

This gentleman, Dave Crafts, visited the Museum today and told us a delightful story shared with him by his father who was a Pratt & Whitney employee during World War II and in the years that followed.

Dave Crafts, an excellent amateur storyteller, and career engineer.

Dave Crafts, an excellent amateur storyteller, and career engineer.

It's a wonderful, short story that weaves together the challenge to American industry to find new purpose after World War II with the pride of precision craftsmanship, along with a charming act of oneupsmanship!

And thank you very much, Dave, for, kicking off our Oral History Project, which we didn't know we would be undertaking until you gave us a reason!


Envisioning a river... of PEOPLE

news, environmentBob PerryComment

One of the great challenges for this Museum since time immemorial is helping people to find the place! Well, the bike path along the Charles River from Boston all the way out to Nonantum is missing at least one crucial link that's being fabricated now - and it has us very excited!

A section I've taken to calling "The Boardwalk" is currently under construction right outside our front door. It will connect the portion of the bike path that stalls heading westbound from Watertown in "The Chemistry" neighborhood of Waltham on the south side of the Elm Street bridge over the Charles River to the the section that resumes at Moody Street on the north side of the Moody Street bridge over the Charles. 

This photo was taken today just past "quittin' time," looking west and up at our amazing, iconic smokestack. 

We're told "The Boardwalk" will be done and ready to open in about two months, perhaps sooner! - This is going to direct a river of people past our front door, most of whom, we suspect, will be learning where and what we are for the very first time. 

I think it's going to feel like a new dawn. We can't wait! :-)

Jill is blogging!

weddings, eventsBob PerryComment

Jill O'Shaughnessy, our Event Manager, just started a blog on this site about the events we host. Her first post, which went up early this afternoon, was about one of her favorite weddings so far.

Thanks for making the time to share your perspective with us, Jill. We look forward to following your work in the weeks, months, and years to come!


A new beginning

backgroundBob PerryComment

Here at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation we are beginning anew.

We are the new leadership team that took the reins of the Museum in late June 2015. In collaboration with our Board of Trustees, new Executive Director Bob Perry and new Curator and Associate Director Francesca Piper Koss, together with Event Manager Jill O'Shaughnessy, we are crafting a new vision and strategic plan for the modernization and future growth and sustainability of this important cultural institution. 

For the remainder of 2015 we are assessing the current state of affairs at the Museum and beginning the work of bringing all the Museum's stakeholders into alignment with our vision for the institution's future. We see the Charles River Museum representing American Industry and Innovation from the 19th Century through the 21st, representing and celebrating contributions made throughout the Charles River watershed area and the incredibly "fertile crescent" of "America's Technology Highway"—the Silicon Valley of the East—our legendary Route 128.

The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation: We seek to tell the ongoing story of America's Industrial Revolution that began here, at the Boston Manufacturing Company.

We're very much looking forward to engaging with everyone who cares about Waltham, the Charles River watershed, Massachusetts' and American industrial history, education, the arts, and building community.

When you visit the Museum, please introduce yourself. We look forward to meeting you.

Bob Perry, Executive Director
Francesca Piper Koss, Curator and Associate Director