National Museum of Industrial History, Bethlehem

4.7
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History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The National Museum of Industrial History (abbreviated NMIH), housed in the former facility of Bethlehem Steel, is a museum affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution that seeks to preserve, educate, and display the industrial history of the nation. It holds a collection of artifacts from the textile, steel and iron, and propane gas industries. The NMIH holds a significant collection of industrial machinery on loan from the Institute's National Museum of American History. The museum also has a large collection of documents, machinery, photographs, and other archival material from Bethlehem Steel.
The museum made its debut in August 2016 with the goal to "forge a connection between America's industrial past and the innovations of today by educating the public and inspiring the visionaries of tomorrow". The $7.5 million museum has four exhibitions each focusing on a different aspect of industrial history that affected both Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. The museum showcases the nation's industrial past by highlighting the machinery and the lives of workers at that time period.
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National Museum of Industrial History reviews

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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Although it may be difficult to find, it ia well worth the trip. The building and the machined are HUGE. 
    Although it may be difficult to find, it ia well worth the trip. The building and the machined are HUGE.  more »
  • Although it may not sound exciting at first blush, it’s a great overview of the steel industry that built many of our buildings (Chrysler building in NYC), railroad, and ships for WW2. It is American....  more
    Although it may not sound exciting at first blush, it’s a great overview of the steel industry that built many of our buildings (Chrysler building in NYC), railroad, and ships for WW2. It is American....  more »
Google
  • After you experience the Bethlehem Steel stacks, I recommend doing a short walk over to check out this Smithsonian-affiliated museum. Even if you're not into machinery, their interpretive signage brings the age of steel and silk to life. I was amazed to learn that this area was a center of silk production: the women and children of the immigrant steelworkers were the labor force. The museum celebrates the industrial contributions of women and people of color. Another highlight was learning about local inventor John Fritz, the father of the steel industry. There is a senior admission rate, free nearby parking and free outdoor exhibits to explore as well.
  • This museum is pretty amazing, just by going on a Friday afternoon with no particular events going on. The woman at the desk was very friendly and enthusiastic. There is a lot to look at and learn , not only about the industrial age, but about Bethlehem Steel. It also might be boring for someone not interested in machinery or history. But one of the best things about this place is where it is located. After you visit the museum, take a walk around the grounds of what used to be Bethlehem Steel.

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