Friday, February 19, 2010

Waltham's, Charles River Museum of Industry

Another Great "Cold Weather Destination" is Waltham's Charles River Museum of Industry.
Located at 154 Moody Street, along the bank of the Charles River, the Charles River Museum of Industry is in the Boston Manufacturing Company's textile mill. Noted as America's first factory by the National Register of Historic Places,the good sized museum is home to a great collection of Waltham's industrial past.

Walking through the museum I'm completely taken by the care of the layout. Like walking through time, you are brought back to Walthams past when it was a World Class center of manufacturing of World Class Items. The attractive layout will interest mostly anybody. Perfect for a stop over to warm up or before or after dinner downtown Waltham.

The museum has one of the best collections of the "Waltham Watch" I have ever seen. Located in what I call the "Watch Loft", from above the main floor, you get a great view of all below.

The Waltham Watch Company produced the finest watch in the world as well as all the tools and parts to do so. Never before had there been such a factory and still to this day, most watch company's "job out" there work to finish there final product. Some small parts are made off site and then recieved for final assembly. For over 100 years of operation, Waltham Watch, or 'The American Watch Company" produced more then 40 million watches that most all remaining still work as well as new today. Waltham Watch was the first watch company to offer the stem to wind the watch as well as set the time.

The collection has many different watch works of all different sizes to view as well as the machinery that they made there at the factory to make them.

There is also a good collection of the Howard Clock as well as a 19th century watch watch makers bench.
The museum has a collection of the "Orient Bicycle" produced in Waltham as well as a "Metz" Automobile and Metz/Marsh Motorcycle.

The museum is only open 3 days a week, Thursday through Saturday from 10-5, but calling ahead, the kind folks will accommodate small groups at times that the museum is closed for special events.
Bicycle parking can be done inside after asking.

A trip to the Charles River Museum of Industry will show you that at one time, The United States and New England was a leader in quality products. Waltham is known for a long list of firsts in product design. You will be surprised to see how many Items we use in our everyday life that came out Waltham's Past.
Try to find a guide while there to lead you through their collection. It will certainly have you asking, what went wrong and where did all the New England manufacturing go?

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