On Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation. The museum is located in the former boiler room of one of Waltham’s mill buildings and steam from the nearby Charles powered the many machines. The mill used to produce textiles and later, other factories in the town built clocks. Today, the museum features engines and machines, antique watches, and lots of exposed gears and pulleys.
(And sorry for the shoddy iPhone shots – I conveniently forgot my camera when I visited. I tried to jazz them up with some Instamatic filters)
Upstairs, the museum has a gallery overlooking the main room that containes many examples of Waltham watches and their miniature geared innards. I was fascinated by these watch and dial face designs
The museum is also a center for STEAMPUNKERY in the area. I mainly visited because they had a whole steampunk exhibit and the designs did not disappoint. This is the Steam Powered Brain Wave Enhancer, built by Gary R. Sullivan (link to his blog) and Michael G. Poisson, which generates energy and transfers it into intelliwaves which stimulate brain activity. Although it wasn’t on while I visited, the top opens and closes, the gears turn, and ZOMG, the whole thing emits STEAM – see YouTube clip here. Also, it is very stylish!
Here’s a fanciful Ray Gun built by Roger Wood of Klockwerks. They had several on display but this one was my favorite – something about the large wheel and the swirls made me so happy. Jen @ EPBOT, this one’s for you!
And then I couldn’t leave without these fantastic goggles… I am totally justifying the purchase by calling them “onion-cutting goggles.” I made french onion soup later that night and shed nary a tear (and also looked entirely fabulous while doing so).
CRMI will be hosting the Steampunk City Festival on May 12 – 13, which should definately be a fun time! And if you happen to be in Waltham, MA, do check out the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation!