Jun
2
5:30 pm17:30

Spirit of Innovation Award Gala

The Third Annual Spirit of Innovation Award will be presented by the Trustees of the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation on June 2, 2016 to the Nichols Family, a storied clan descended from legendary engineer/machinist W.H. Nichols who established his eponymous company in Waltham in 1904. Nicknamed “Accurate Nichols” for his exacting standards, W.H.’s lifelong motto was “Anything Almost Right is Wrong.” 

Later known as W.H. Nichols and Sons, the company built its well-earned reputation for precision manufacturing by successfully developing production capabilities for IBM, DuPont, and other companies and inventors whose products were theretofore believed to require machining tolerances too exact to be mass produced.  Their manufacturing excellence earned W.H. Nichols & Sons a remarkable five “E Awards” (no company ever earned more than six) for particularly outstanding wartime production excellence helping to defeat the World War II Axis Powers. 

W.H. Nichols and his family were also known for their love of recreation. Outdoor enthusiasts with a tennis court and swimming pool, they were especially fond of boating, with a boathouse on the Charles River. In the 1930s the family launched their new boat, the White Swan, in the Charles, a nod to a paddlewheel steamer of the same name that used to carry passengers from the Moody Street Bridge to Auburndale in the 1870s. 

During World War II the family opened their boathouse to Nichols Company employees and formed baseball and softball teams to provide an outlet for shop workers during a very pressured time. Rowing was a major pastime; there was even an 8-person shell on loan from Wellesley College for the women workers. 

Steam engines were a great hobby of the Nichols men. W.H. is seen here on "Ella Cinders," a "live steam" model locomotive he built that ran on a track around the company property and was a popular attraction with local children. 

The Nichols were also known for their fair and equal treatment of their employees, supporting churches and temples alike. They also made great civic contributions to the community including funding a new wing at Waltham Hospital. Years later, around the time the company was sold to Parker Hannifin Corporation, they seeded the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation’s collection with many exceptional artifacts, among them the beloved “Engine 1,” Waltham’s first fire engine, which W.H. had purchased from the City and restored as a centerpiece of the company’s own Museum. 

As W.H. Nichols & Sons thrived as a company across generations of family leadership, so, too, did the Nichols family grow and thrive, living rich and varied lives that have woven a tapestry of extraordinary and delightful stories worth sharing. 

The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation and its Trustees are delighted to be presenting the W.H. Nichols family with the Museum’s Third Annual Spirit of Innovation Award at a Gala to be held in their honor at the Museum on Thursday evening, June 2, 2016. A special Nichols Family exhibit will be unveiled at the Museum that evening as well, exploring the company’s and the family’s extraordinary history, their inspiring contributions to industry and community. 

Schedule of Events:

5:30pmCocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres in the Main Gallery

6:30pmSeating and Buffet Dinner Begins in the Jackson Room 

7:15pmAward Program in the Jackson Room 

Tickets to the 2016 Spirit of Innovation Award Gala are $50 and available for purchase now at Eventbrite.

Eventbrite - Third Annual Spirit of Innovation Award Gala

For further information, please email info@charlesrivermuseum.org anytime. 


SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: RHYS CHATHAM
May
26
6:00 pm18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: RHYS CHATHAM

“Without him, there would be no Sonic Youth, no Jesus and Mary Chain, no My Bloody Valentine . . . a towering figure among six-string aficionados.” – Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris. In the 1970s, Chatham began creating a new urban music that fused the minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with punk rock’s elemental fury. His breakthrough sound altered rock’s DNA and laid a path for bands like Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Photo: Estelle Hanania

Photo: Estelle Hanania

Chatham was introduced to electronic music and composition by Morton Subotnick in the late 60s; in the early seventies he studied composition with La Monte Young. These musicians, along with Terry Riley and Tony Conrad, were the founders of American minimalism, and were a profound influence on Chatham's work.

Chatham’s early work was characterized by the use of multiple electric guitars in special tunings; it culminated with An Angel Moves Too Fast to See, his 1989 symphony for one hundred electric guitars. Chatham’s subsequent compositions for guitar orchestra include A Crimson Grail (indoor version), A Secret Rose and A Crimson Grail (outdoor version), which was commissioned by the City of Paris for the La Nuit Blanche Festival and released on Nonesuch Records in 2010. 

Chatham’s work also includes collaborations, and improvised and compositional pieces, for brass instruments. In 2014 he began touring a solo program featuring electric guitar in a Pythagorean tuning; Bb trumpet; and bass, alto and C flutes. 

“…spacious drones shimmering with intricate harmonic effects.” –– Chicago Reader

“It might justly be considered music to pray to.” — Will Hermes, The New York Times

“Surging phosphorescence… Uplifting.” –– David Fricke, Rolling Stone

ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.rhyschatham.net

Eventbrite - "SECOND SHIFT Music Series" Performance: RHYS CHATHAM
May
12
6:00 pm18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Concert: HAUNT the HOUSE

"The album gleams with a stirring, spiritually-inflected sound that well represents the band name on the marquee... Fans of Brown Bird, the Low Anthem, Iron & Wine, and Bon Iver should grab a copy of Jack Rabbit Jones ASAP." –– The Providence Phoenix

"His music is charged, not just with an aptitude for words and melodies, but with a deep feeling of soul." –– Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem

"Originally the solo acoustic project of Will Houlihan, Haunt The House has recently expanded to something much bigger and bolder. On the recently released Jack Rabbit Jones, the full spectrum of folk instrumentation has joined in, with rapturous mandolin and accordion adding a spacious backdrop for Houlihan and a chorus of singers to cry, moan, plead and delight. This is the kind of music that the genre tag of Americana was custom-made for." –– Robert Hamm, Paste Magazine

A few years back Rhode Island musician Will Houlihan began performing under the name Haunt The House, sometimes solo and sometime with friends. From the start it was clear his songs are something special. They have some of the spiritual yearning you hear in old recordings of rural gospel groups, and some of the lost, lonesome sound of Appalachian songs as well. Like old folk tales, they seem rooted in ancient shared experience. And, like the songs of Hank Williams or Townes Van Zandt, they have a lived-in quality that’s characteristic of the best American roots music.

Houlihan spins his tales in a language so vivid that it comes as no surprise to learn he’s also a visual artist whose work mirrors the themes he explores in his songs. Its part of what makes them so compelling, and part of what makes Houlihan a musician to watch.

Houlihan has appeared in clubs and listening rooms throughout New England, and his set at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival introduced Haunt The House to a national audience. 

Eventbrite - "SECOND SHIFT Music Series" Concert: HAUNT THE HOUSE
Apr
24
12:30 pm12:30

Cambridge Science Festival: Innovation Drop-in

As a part of the Cambridge Science Festival, the Museum has some special weekend activities planned. With a different project each day, there will be plenty to keep young minds, and hands, very busy. Recommended for ages 10+. Free with Museum admission.

Saturday 4/16 - Explore Inventions Inspired by Nature (Canceled)

Sunday 4/17 - Make Cars Go Farther & Faster

Saturday 4/23 - Build & Test Towers for Strength & Stability

Sunday 4/24 - Invention Investigation: Discovery through Disassembly

Apr
23
12:30 pm12:30

Cambridge Science Festival: Innovation Drop-in

As a part of the Cambridge Science Festival, the Museum has some special weekend activities planned. With a different project each day, there will be plenty to keep young minds, and hands, very busy. Recommended for ages 10+. Free with Museum admission.

Saturday 4/16 - Explore Inventions Inspired by Nature (Canceled)

Sunday 4/17 - Make Cars Go Farther & Faster

Saturday 4/23 - Build & Test Towers for Strength & Stability

Sunday 4/24 - Invention Investigation: Discovery through Disassembly

Apr
21
6:00 pm18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: TOM CARTER

"Tom Carter is a modern titan… one of the most thoughtful, imaginative instrumentalists working today.” –– Pitchfork

"An uncanny ability to push his guitar playing to unearthly limits, while still retaining a spare simplicity that, while unusual and unorthodox, never ceases to remain completely engaging and steeped in majestic beauty." –– Tiny Mix Tapes

TOM CARTER is one of America’s great guitar iconoclasts, and one of its most powerful and communicative improvisers. His solo work sculpts a rich landscape of grit and beauty.

Born just south of the Mason-Dixon line Carter, the son of a newspaper man, spent his early years in various farm and mining towns in Maryland and Ohio. His influences include American pre-punk, British post-punk and Texas psychedelia.

In 1990 Carter formed the groundbreaking Charalambides with Christina Carter. The Wire describes the band’s forays into folk, psych and improvisation as “truly 21st century experimental ethnic music.”

Carter has focused on solo work since 2012. His 2015 double LP Long Time Underground is the final installment of a trilogy begun in 2009. Calling the album a masterpiece, Pitchfork chose Long Time Underground as 2015’s number-one experimental release.

Tom Carter’s collaborators include such luminaries as Thurston Moore, Ben Chasny, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Helena Espvall and Steve Gunn –– to name a few. His ongoing projects include Eleven Twenty-Nine with Marc Orleans and Michael Evans, and Badgerlore, with Chasny, Rob Fisk and others. Carter lives in New York City.

WEBSITE: http://www.wholly-other.com/tom_carter.html

YOUTUBE:

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/threelobed/entreaertne-by-tom-carter

DOORS OPEN at 6:00pm; TOM goes on at 7:30pm!

Eventbrite - "SECOND SHIFT Music Series" Performance: TOM CARTER
Apr
17
12:30 pm12:30

Cambridge Science Festival: Innovation Drop-in

As a part of the Cambridge Science Festival, the Museum has some special weekend activities planned. With a different project each day, there will be plenty to keep young minds, and hands, very busy. Recommended for ages 10+. Free with Museum admission.

Saturday 4/16 - Explore Inventions Inspired by Nature (Canceled)

Sunday 4/17 - Make Cars Go Farther & Faster

Saturday 4/23 - Build & Test Towers for Strength & Stability

Sunday 4/24 - Invention Investigation: Discovery through Disassembly

Apr
7
6:00 pm18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: PAUL RISHELL & ANNIE RAINES

“Deep and resonant as Robert Johnson’s crossroads… authenticity, soul, and a sense of purpose and commitment ring out in every note. –– The Boston Phoenix

PHOTO: Eric Antoniou

PHOTO: Eric Antoniou

When harmonica ace Annie Raines first sat in with country blues guitarist Paul Rishell in a Boston bar in 1992, few in the crowd suspected they were witnessing the beginning of a musical partnership that would span the next 24 years and counting.

Since then Paul and Annie have gone on to distinguish themselves as one of the blues world’s finest and most in-demand duos. Performing in styles ranging from the acoustic guitar wizardry of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Son House to the swinging amplified sounds of Chicago Blues, they’re masters of their respective instruments. Beyond that, they bring warmth, humor and personal chemistry to every show they play. It all adds up to something very special that’s made believers of audiences and fellow musicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines have appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion, performed with John Sebastian and Susan Tedeschi, and opened shows for Ray Charles and Dr. John. They’re also the proud recipients of the prestigious W.C. Handy Award for their groundbreaking acoustic album, Moving On. Paul and Annie have logged countless miles as touring artists, and continue to play clubs, festivals and concert halls through Europe and North America.

DOORS OPEN at 6:00pm; PAUL & ANNIE go on at 7:30pm!

Eventbrite - "Second Shift Music Series" Performance: Paul Rishell and Annie Raines
Feb
20
10:00 am10:00

N.E.M.E.S. Model Engineering Show

The New England Model Engineering Society's annual show returns to the Charles River Museum of Industry & Engineering. This year's happens to be their 20th Annual Show and we are very excited to have them!

What can you look forward to at a NEMES show?

OPERATING SCALE MODELS INCLUDING: 

  •  STEAM ENGINES 
  •  GASOLINE ENGINES 
  •  AIRCRAFT ENGINES 
  •  STIRLING CYCLE ENGINES 
  •  CLOCKS 
  •  MACHINIST’S TOOLS AND FIXTURES 
  •  LOCOMOTIVES 
  •  TRACTION ENGINES 
  •  MODEL BOATS – STEAM AND GAS 

AND MEET THE CRAFTSMEN WHO BUILT THEM!

Museum admission gets you in.

We look forward to seeing you at this very educational and entertaining event!

17th Annual New England Model Engineering Show. 16 February 2013

InstaMeet at the Charles River Museum!
Jan
23
2:30 pm14:30

InstaMeet at the Charles River Museum!

Hear ye, hear ye, all ye local Instagrammers! 

The historic Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation is wonderfully photogenic, featuring so many interesting artifacts and angles—and great light!

Come capture the beauty for yourself in community at our first InstaMeet on Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 2:30pm-4:00pm.

Museum Admission for this InstaMeet is free (but donations will be gratefully accepted!).

The hashtag for this event is #instameetcrmiiwaltham, but be sure to add the #instameet hashtag, too!

Eventbrite - InstaMeet at the Charles River Museum

Please share this announcement to your social networks to help us spread the word!

Nov
28
6:00 pm18:00

Documentary Screening & Fundraiser: "Flying Again"

"Flying Again"

Please join us on Saturday, November 28, 2015 for the world premiere screening of the feature-length documentary "Flying Again."

Flying Again is a film about rusty pilots getting back in the cockpit and taking once again to the air!

This is a great opportunity for anyone who loves airplanes, flying, or just seeing dreams come true again! - Filmmaker Jason Schappert will be present, delivering introductory remarks, taking questions, and mingling with guests at this screening. 

This special screening is a fundraising event to benefit the Massachusetts Air & Space Museum and the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation. 

Click on the MASM logo to visit their website.

Tickets are $50 and include the screening, wine, beer, and hors d'oeuvres, and a self-guided tour of the Charles River Museum.There will also be a silent auction with many great prizes on which to bid! To purchase tickets, please CLICK HERE to jump to Brown Paper Tickets.

Doors open at 6:00pm; the evening's program begins at 7:00pm. 

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday Evening, November 28th, for this great event!

Thank you to Cuisine Chez Vous in Somerville for providing the delicious food and professional service this evening!