Art and Soul in the Heart of Waltham

The Francis Cabot Lowell Mill becomes Waltham’s cultural epicenter for the first week of November 2016, with a series of events filling a broad artistic, intellectual, and cultural canvas.

It all begins on Wednesday evening, November 2, at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation with the next in the museum’s “Mill Talks” lecture series. This talk by the Charles River’s resident historian, Amy Green, Ph.D., on “Almost Forgotten Female Inventors” will explore in depth the motivations and successes of four female inventors. Dr. Green will also give an overview of a range of inventions credited to women, the reasons for their success and failure, and more generally evoke the spirit of innovation in America writ large.

Thursday evening, November 3 the Museum’s eclectic 2nd Shift Music Series continues with a concert by Klezwoods, a wild amalgam of strings, horns, and percussion that melds the spirit of Jewish, Eastern European, Arabic, and North African music traditions with modern grooves, improvisation, and melodic interplay.

On Friday evening, November 4th, modern dance takes over the Museum with a ground-breaking dance event called Tangling Echoes Off Brick & Steel. This interweaving of two innovative recent works by the award-winning Jody Weber and her contemporary modern dance company, Weber Dance, will make use of the entire museum.

The audience upon their arrival will make their way through the museum’s galleries, experiencing short solo and ensemble dances, en route to a larger “main event” in the museum’s banquet space. Together the dances are an exploration of workspaces and the environment, the proliferation of material wealth generated by the Industrial Revolution and its effect on both our personal and spiritual lives, and its wider impact through Climate Change.

The weekend marks the return of the annual and much celebrated Waltham Mills Open Studios. This year the Waltham Mills Artists Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary. On Saturday and Sunday, November 5th and 6th, from noon to 6:00pm each day, visitors may tour more than 70 studios, meet the artists, and purchase their work. The event takes place at 144 Moody Street at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill, and 289 Moody Street at the Linco`ln Arts Building. Admission is free.

Finally, on Sunday evening November 6th, the new Boiler House Jazz Series at the Charles River Museum continues with a performance by Ara Sarkissian & Musaner Small Ensemble. Having performed widely in the Greater Boston area, as well as New York, Washington, D.C., Zurich, and Milan, Musaner brings together ancient melodies, new arrangements, traditional instruments and modern harmonies for a unique jazz experience.

So, head downtown November 2nd through 6th and catch the rhythm of the cultural heartbeat of Waltham!

Historic Waltham Days - July 2016

An annual tradition for many years now, July has held a month-long celebration of Waltham's history and culture known as Historic Waltham Days.

Historic Waltham Days is a collaboration among the major cultural/historical landmark organizations: Gore Place, Stonehurst (the Paine Estate), The Waltham Museum, the National Archives, The Waltham Historical Society, and ourselves—the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation.

Each of these organizations is the custodian of crucial elements of Waltham's history and, accordingly, each gathers its own unique set of exhibits and events to spotlight people, places, and events in Waltham, past and present.

At the Charles River Museum we're excited to call your attention during Historic Waltham Days 2017 to the following four special things we have for you to enjoy (click on the embedded links for much more information on each):

We hope you'll join us for our events during Historic Waltham Days and that you'll participate in the special events hosted by our sister organizations, too!

Remembering a dear friend

We remember today Joan Sheridan, long-time Trustee of our Museum, who passed away earlier this week at her Waltham home.

Joan was a very early and committed supporter of the idea of the Charles River Museum of Industry, who stayed committed to the Museum’s vision and mission for the rest of her life.   

She worked with the Museum’s founder, Mike Folsom, to connect the Museum to the Waltham Public Schools, and as recently as last fall, she helped the Museum connect with the Waltham Public Library to create an exhibit in the library to introduce library visitors to the Museum.  

 A graduate of Waltham High School in 1950, she returned to Waltham to teach History at Central Junior High School, emerging as the school’s assistant principal, before ultimately becoming Director of Social Studies for the entire Waltham school system.

 A past president of the Waltham Historical Society, Joan was also a co-founder and respected member of our Board of Trustees for a great many years. Joan Sheridan made a very positive difference at the Charles River Museum, as indeed she did in many other important institutions in our City of Waltham. We will miss her.

Announcing the SECOND SHIFT Music Series at the Charles River Museum!

We are very pleased to announce our inaugural Second Shift Music Series!

Curated by legendary local musician Michael Tarbox—a Waltham resident!—our spring season kicks off on April 7, 2016 and will feature shows two Thursday evenings each month through June. We’ll then break for the summer before resuming this fall. Please see our opening lineup below. 

We'll be hosting a wide array of performers from a variety of genres -- roots, rock, experimental, blues, jazz and folk. While the musicians appearing in the series come from diverse backgrounds, each in some way reflects the innovative, exploratory American spirit that our Museum celebrates. 

SPRING 2016 SECOND SHIFT MUSIC  SERIES PROGRAM:

April 7, 2016:  Paul Rishell and Annie Raines (rural blues) - TICKETS NOW ON SALE!

April 21, 2016:  Tom Carter (psychedelic and experimental guitar) - TICKETS NOW ON SALE!

May 12, 2016:  Haunt The House (otherworldly folk)

May 26, 2016: Rhys Chatham (Improvisations on guitar and other instruments)

June 9, 2016:  The Bluebird Orchestra (One-of-a-kind string band)

June 16, 2016: Tarbox Ramblers (rock, Appalachian, backwoods blues)

We look forward to joining you on the Second Shift at the Charles River Museum, in America's first factory, the historic Francis Cabot Lowell Mill, right off the Moody Street dam in the heart of downtown Waltham!

A busy month of community fundraisers!

It turns out that March kicks off quite a busy month of fundraisers at the Museum for a variety of organizations and purposes in Waltham! Beginning tonight!

On Thursday, March 3rd at the Museum it's "Craft Beer for a Cause" to benefit the Waltham Boys & Girls Club.

On Saturday, March 5th it's the Steampunk-themed "Escapement Lounge Fundraiser Soirée" to jointly benefit the Watch City Steampunk Festival and the Charles River Museum. 

On Saturday, March 12th its the Third Annual Breezers Ball, a great big party for Waltham, the proceeds of which fund two scholarships—one in the arts, the other technical—for graduating Waltham High School Seniors. 

On Thursday, March 31st it's the 24th Annual Waltham Food, Wine, and Craft Beer Festival to benefit the Charles River Museum. - Originally held at the Museum, this event is now held at the Waltham Westin Hotel, which generously donates their ballroom to host the event. 

Then, to wrap up this great run of events, Waltham Fields Community Farm hosts their annual fundraiser, Sprout!, at the Museum on Friday, April 8th. 

All five of these great events are for great causes, with different themes and feels, each a lot of fun. They're great ways to have fun while doing good for and as part of your community!

An exhibition of extraordinary fine art by Todd Cahill: "Gone & Now"

Todd Cahill is best known as a Steamachine Artist. That's how we at the Museum have always known him. HIs studio/workshop is located in an adjacent mill building. He builds steam machines from 19th century blueprints. He builds kinetic sculptures.

Todd's profile on the Waltham Mills Artist Association website as "an artist, mechanical engineer, model builder, and interpreter of the history of technology." And his membership in the New England Model Engineering Society attests to his commitment as practitioner. 

But his extraordinarily intricate and gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings are a revelation.

We are very proud to be hosting Todd's first ever exhibition of his work as a fine artist in two dimensions. Please read on to learn about this exhibition:

Gone & Now

Perspectives in Drawing by Todd D. Cahill

A sculptor by training and inclination, Todd Cahill pushes beyond the childhood engineering of toy worlds and constructs through to the visual investigation of drawing.  ‘Gone & Now’ explores the journey of his creative process from its genesis to today.  Though devoid of human form, these drawings are very much about people; people he has known, friends that have left, and those that are no more.  His metaphoric choice of subject matter reveals a transcendental connection between what is gone and what is present now.

Beginning with Union Station in Worcester Massachusetts; a high school assignment initiates an excuse to explore an abandoned gateway to the industrialized age. Within this abandoned sea of apathy Todd discovers a positive channel for the emptiness of loss: drawing. Empowered with the feeling he could rewrite the course of history and visually restore the building the city had left in near ruin, he set to task on this epic drawing.  In 2006 a renovated Union Station reopened, the marble of the towers now in fiberglass. But this Disneyfication does not solve the problems of the city. 

In college, Todd intended to explore the two-dimensional, but, like many on their college journey, the choice of one path leads to another.  A pause in drawing led to exploration of the manufacturing process and the use of drawings to envisage three-dimensional worlds.

After surveying the epic steam sites in England some fifteen years later, Todd became disconcerted with the inability to portray the monumental scale of the three-dimensional diminutively.  Whitacre was born out of that ‘Sturm and Drang’ dissatisfaction and desire.  It marks the return of pen to page.  The multi-volume photographic survey of British steam engines by George Watkins served as source book and point of departure.  Art becomes the home where old technologies retire, showing respect for the outdated and elegantly engineered.

In 2008 Paisley was started as a result of personal loss. Todd’s opus is derived from a simple postcard image of the JP Coats thread mill, the third largest company in the entire world making something as minuscule as thread, and speaks to that polarity.  It was thought that the production of silk thread required the dexterity of the human hand as if something so beautiful and intricate could never be produced by the impersonal power of a mountainous steam engine. In Paisley, you are drawn into a procession of impossible light, streaming in from both sides at once, ascending the ropes past the helical DNA spiral and into ethereal light. 

The view of the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill boiler house—and now home to the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation—is just after the original trestle that carried the branch line of the Fitchburg Railroad to the coal gasification plant was unceremoniously dismantled to make room for a boardwalk. A modern day blight and barrier removed to ease the path for pedestrian movement. Just visible through the trees is the footbridge where friends now lost were first found. What gets removed, and what is left—or left with; when something is gone you are left with only now.

Waltham Watch Factory as seen from Mt. Feake Cemetery is a view Todd discovered in 2008 after moving to Waltham.  The vantage point is just above the site where D.H. Church is buried. Church was the master watchmaker who engineered many of the machines and processes at the Watch Factory, making possible the production of precision miniature parts that comprise a watch. This final resting spot for Church allows him to keep a supervisory eye on the factory that his engineering mastery made possible.

The one commissioned piece in this group was done for Fred Jaggi, the director of the Wireless and Steam Museum in East Greenwich Rhode Island. The drawing was commissioned for his eightieth birthday. Both the museum and Mr. Jaggi represent familiar and fleeting themes in Todd’s life.

Todd Cahill depicts monuments that transition the era of artisan-craftsman to that of mass-production through the harnessing of the power of steam.  Crumbling ruin becomes shrine to those who never had one. His portrayal of the abandoned is juxtaposed against his elaborate and bespoke settings.  The void that accompanies personal loss is the same emptiness found in the structural giants of our past in this exhibition, Gone and Now.    

 

On the occasion of our first snow of the season...

How wonderfully amazing to have this photograph of Waltham's iconographic "Engine 1" out and about on a snow day in Waltham goodness knows how many winters ago. 

Notice the steam rising out of the boiler on the back of the engine, and the misty breath of one of the lead horses' exhaling.

Waltham's Engine 1 was built in 1871 by Amoskeag Locomotive Works in Manchester, New Hampshire and is on permanent exhibit at our Museum - a gift of the W.H. Nichols Company. 

We're honored that Engine 1 is the featured photograph on Amoskeag Locomotive Works' Wikipedia page

Our Tribute to an Extraordinary Friend

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mr. Arthur H. Nelson, long-time President of our Board of Trustees, passed away on November 28, 2015 at age 92.

A founder and loyal benefactor of our Museum since its beginning in 1980, it was Mr. Nelson’s steadfast commitment to innovation and his generosity that defined the Museum for many years.   A great man, mentor, and friend, Mr. Nelson inspired many others, and no one has ever set a better example of how to live a professional life that is both meaningful and successful.

The astonishingly versatile Mr. Nelson founded seventeen different entities, nine of them nonprofits.  Among many fields, he was a leader in real estate, education, environmentalism, and technology. Just this list of some organizations he founded is impressive indeed:

Arthur H. Nelson, pictured here with Marcia M. Folsom, President of our Board of Trustees on the day Mr. Nelson was presented with the Museum's inaugural Spirit of Innovation Award in June 2014.

Arthur H. Nelson, pictured here with Marcia M. Folsom, President of our Board of Trustees on the day Mr. Nelson was presented with the Museum's inaugural Spirit of Innovation Award in June 2014.

  • Technical Education Research Laboratories (TERC)
  • The Boston Computer Society
  • The Charles River Public Internet Center
  • The Waltham Tourism Council
  • The 128 Business Council
  • The Nelson Companies, and of course,
  • The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation

A social entrepreneur long before the practice was common or the term even existed, Arthur Nelson throughout his professional life applied technology and innovation to solve social problems. He did well, he did good, and in so doing he has left this world a much better place.

Arthur Nelson’s vision, leadership, and legacy as a doer and not just a thinker will continue to inspire us as we seek to maintain his values and fulfill the promise he saw in this Museum to inspire future innovators, and to educate—the bedrock of our Mission.

Arthur Nelson, we will remember you, and miss you, always.

Douglas G. Waybright
Trustee, Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
President, The Nelson Companies

"Flying Again - A Pilot's Journey Back to Proficiency"

I was surprised to learn that there are almost as many "lapsed pilots" under the age of 75—about a half-million—as there are active, licensed U.S. pilots, which number over 600,000.

We're excited to be hosting the World Premiere of a new feature-length documentary about the rusty pilots working their way back into the comfort with the special skill set and certification required to fly a plane in America. 

A film any aviation enthusiast would enjoy, Flying Again is inspiring, exhilarating, entertaining, and beautiful.

Please join us at the Museum on Saturday, November 28, 2015—the Saturday after Thanksgiving—for the World Premiere of Flying Again.

This event, which includes a silent auction of valuable aviation-related prizes, and a Q&A with the filmmaker following the screening, is a joint fundraiser for the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation and the Massachusetts Air & Space Museum. 

Tickets are $50 ($45 of which is tax-deductible as a contribution to the Museums, both 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations) and include the screening, wine, beer, hors d'oeuvres, and a self-guided tour of the museum.

Museum staff will be present to answer questions about the collection, which includes artifacts from the Metz Company, Charles Metz's eponymous, vanguard Waltham firm that produced all manner of vehicles including bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles and airplanes over a century ago. - In fact, in 1911 Charles Metz purchased at auction Waltham's Gore Estate where he built the Waltham Aerodrome and hosted the first airplane meet in New England! 

If you're interested in flying at any level, you don't want to miss this rare and wonderful event!

CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now!

"Late Night at the Charles River Museum" featuring the Typewriter Rodeo

We're excited to be inaugurating a new tradition of Late Nights at the Charles River Museum on Thursday evening, November 12th, with the Typewriter Rodeo - poets crafting custom poems on vintage typewriters. 

What a great way to scratch your performing arts-and-culture itch in a dramatic industrial Museum setting on the banks of the iconic Charles River!

CLICK HERE to learn more about this event!

Of Looms & Lilies – a modern dance about women, the American Industrial Revolution, and our environment

As the concept for the institution jelled in the late 1970’s, the founders of the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation were driven by the belief that we the people of New England deserve a clearer understanding of our rich industrial heritage and the ways that heritage continues to shape our lives. Located on the banks of Massachusetts’ iconic river, in the last building built by the Boston Manufacturing Company, the first integrated factory in America, they certainly chose the appropriate place to explore and convey that story.

When my colleague Francesca Piper Koss, Curator and Associate Director, began our tenure in June as the new leadership team of the Charles River Museum, we knew that we were assuming responsibility for an institution with an increasingly relevant mission—in a STEM-obsessed world—that is easy to state but challenging to fulfill. Fresh off an adventure of a lifetime, organizing the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival, we began our work at the Museum committed to ensuring that the “A” for Arts would not be neglected while we fulfilled our responsibilities to feature exhibitions of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

In this context, you can imagine our shock and delight when we discovered that a new friend had created a modern dance called “Of Looms and Lilies,” essentially a conversation through dance between 19th Century textile “Mill Girls” and contemporary professional women, and an exploration of the cultural, spiritual, and ecological impact of the American Industrial Revolution.

Here we are, at the very place (and National Historic Landmark) where the American Industrial Revolution began, tending the site that tells the story of that Revolution and its effects on our lives (and our environment, to a limited extent), when lo and behold, Bridgewater State University Professor and Weber Dance Founder and Artistic Director Dr. Jody Weber, who has just managed to tell that story in a radically different medium, suddenly and serendipitously enters our lives.

We invite you to deepen your understanding along with us of our rich industrial heritage and its impact on our lives through an upcoming, one-night-only performance of Weber Dance’s “Of Looms and Lilies.” The performance will take place in the extraordinarily appropriate and intimate setting of the Main Gallery of the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, where we’ll be installing a wood dance floor and arranging limited seating on three sides, with standing room on the Mezzanine above. 

More details on the event, including how to purchase tickets, are AVAILABLE HERE.

Celebrating a sustained effort to save the Charles River Watershed

The Charles River Watershed Association is one of America's oldest watershed organizations. They're celebrating their 50th birthday this year!

The Charles River Watershed Association "uses science, advocacy, and the law to protect, preserve, and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. The organization sees its focus as: developing a sound, science-based understanding of interactions in the watershed; promoting sustainable watershed management practices with government agencies and private entities; and advocating for protection, revitalization, and expansion of public parklands along the Charles River."

Located as we are on the north bank of the Charles River (and eagerly anticipating as this article is being written the opening of the next link in the Charles River Greenway, a dramatic, gorgeous boardwalk in front of the Museum, overlooking the river), we at the Charles River Museum are delighted to have been chosen as the venue for their 50th Birthday celebration!

We encourage you to help sustain the efforts of the CRWA by attending "Champions of the Charles," an elegant evening of cocktails, dinner, live music, and dancing at the Museum on Friday evening, October 2, 2015, beginning at 6:30pm. 

To learn more about the Charles River Watershed Association, their "Champions of the Charles" 50th Birthday Celebration, and to purchase tickets to this great event, please CLICK HERE.

Thank you and see you on October 2nd!


The following video features CRWA Executive Director Bob Zimmerman "describing some of the improvements seen in recent years along the Charles River and some of the challenges still faced by the Charles River communities."

Temporary Exhibit & Artists' Talk: Origami

Ancient Techniques, Modern Interpretations & Innovations in Origami

Lisa Corfman, and Wensdy Whitehead currently have an exhibit of their Origami art on display at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. It can be viewed in our forwardmost gallery, adjacent to our front door, through Friday, September 4, 2015, just before Labor Day weekend.

My first week at the Museum was a blur; I was doing my best to absorb all I could from my predecessor in our three days of overlap. I have no clear memory of it happening, but origami artists Corfman and Whitehead tell me that that was the week that they—and their friend and colleague, Helen Moy—delivered to another of our departed colleagues at the Museum the samples of their interesting work that are currently on display.

Should you choose to visit and view their exhibition in our forwardmost gallery space, adjacent to our front door, you’ll find examples of traditional origami as well as work using non-traditional, non-paper materials—including computer floppy disk media—origami miniatures, a large format, mixed media origami sculpture, as well as charcoal drawings and the painting pictured below.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Corfman and Ms. Whitehead and discussing their work. They will be delivering a talk about origami on Thursday evening, August 27th, in our main gallery.

Ms. Corfman, a multi-media artist, will offer up a brief history of origami, narrate a slideshow of her interpretive charcoal drawings of origami art, and discuss ways in which she has innovated in origami to extend the traditional artform.

Ms. Whitehead will discuss non-paper folding materials—some of which are are featured in the current exhibit—wet-folding techniques, which is an innovation of modern origami that introduces natural curves to the straight folds, and two of her own design technique innovations, which she calls “Shovel Folding” and “Heart Transplant.” - Shovel Folding she describes as a quick way of thinking about a subset of “box-pleated” design; Heart Transplant she describes as a type of “crease pattern grafting,” but easily accessible without in-depth understanding of grafting design. - These topics explore innovations in origami since World War II.

Miniature fish AND photo credit: Wensdy Whitehead

Miniature fish AND photo credit: Wensdy Whitehead

The schedule for the evening is as follows:

  • 6:00pm - Doors open, guests begin to arrive
  • 6:30pm - Guests are seated; the Talk begins
  • 7:15pm - The Talk ends, followed by a brief Question & Answer period.

The Museum will remain open for visitation and conversation until 8:00pm.

The public is invited to join us on Thursday evening to hear this talk on the ancient techniques, modern techniques, and recent innovations in Origami. Admission is free (a donation is encouraged). Light refreshments will be served.

Temporary Exhibit: Typewriters

A bright and charming young gentleman named Britton Dunn has interned with us at the Museum for the past two summers. He LOVES this Museum, and has had a strong hand in just about everything we've done since Francesca and I began working here in mid-June - including orienting and training US. :-)

I'm sharing this with you now so that you can enjoy SOME of the great fruits of Britton's skilled and passionate labor before he returns to Greensboro, North Carolina and his senior year at Guilford College at the end of next week.

Highlights of our Typewriter Collection

By Britton Dunn, Intern Extraordinaire

July, 2015

Oliver no.9 c.1906

The goal of this typewriter retrospective is to showcase the innovations that moved the typewriting industry forward in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Companies showcased include Oliver, Remington, Royal, Underwood and Smith-Corona.  The exhibit provides insight into how these companies evolved over the 100+ years of typewriter dominated word processing.  

Smith-Corona

Founded in 1903 as the LC Smith & Bros. Typewriter Company, this company has endured the test of time. Smith-Corona is one of the few companies in this exhibit to still be operating today (though now as a label producer).  Prior to its founding, the LC Smith name had been affiliated with two major companies; The LC Smith Shotgun Company in 1880 and the Smith Premier Typewriter Company in 1887.  In 1905, the company sent a LC Smith & Bros. Model No. 1 typewriter to the reporter's’ office of the New York Herald; where it operated for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 8 years when it was then used intermittently in other departments for the next ten years.  In 1926, the company merged with the Corona Typewriter Company to form LC Smith & Corona and in 1949 changed its name to Smith-Corona Inc.

An old Smith-Corona electric typewriter magazine advertisement

An old Smith-Corona electric typewriter magazine advertisement

Remington

The major innovation of Remington typewriters was their design of the QWERTY keyboard layout in order to slow typists down in order to keep typewriters from jamming; an alphabetical layout had been most common previously.  The QWERTY layout, designed in 1873, is still the standard keyboard layout on tablets and computers today.  

Remington no.10 Standard c.1908

Royal

Founded in 1904 in a machine shop in Brooklyn, the Royal Typewriter Company turned to financier Thomas Fortune Ryan to back the production and promotion of their innovative machines.  Breakthroughs included: friction-free, ball-bearing, one-track rail to support the weight of the carriage, a new paper feed, a lighter and faster typebar action, and complete visibility of the words as they are typed.  

Royal no.10 Keyboard c.1934

Underwood

Founded in 1895, the Underwood Typewriter Company would soon become the largest producer of typewriters in the world. Their production equaled all other typewriter manufacturers in the world combined by the 1920’s.  The factory, housed in Hartford Connecticut, produced on average one typewriter every minute.  Underwood typewriters were favored by such famous authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and Jack Kerouac.   

We hope you'll look for the our Temporary Exhibit: Typewriters should you visit in the near future. It will be on display for at least the next several weeks.
 

Thank you SO much, Britton, for all your hard and good work! The respect and affection you have for the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation has been obvious each and every day. Thank you for showing me the ropes and sharing your knowledge and passion with me. 

We will miss you. 

The Pratt & Whitney Drill Bit Story

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

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! :-)