Baltimore Museum of Industry
1415 Key Hwy., 410/727-4808,
HOURS: Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
COST: $10 adult, $6 child, $6 senior
Baltimore is a city that was largely built on the strengths of its industrial base—and the backs and sweat of the citizens who worked in the shipyards, steel mills, factories, shops, and industrial plants that used to pack the city and its waterfront. Those industries have, more often than not, fallen silent or been rendered obsolete, but the Baltimore Museum of Industry preserves the power of that history.
Some of America’s greatest products—from Noxzema and Bromo Seltzer to gas lighting and aircraft innovations—were created, built, or perfected around Baltimore, and their stories are told here. Look for the enormous red crane out front as you head down Key Highway; it’s a great place to stop, not just geographically, but culturally and historically, between a visit to Fort McHenry and the American Visionary Art Museum.
The first exhibits tell the story of Baltimore of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a re-created pharmacy, print shop, garment factory, and an original oyster cannery building. The large, waterfront Decker Gallery (named for one of the men who founded Black & Decker, the tool manufacturing giant based just north of the city) houses the museum’s biggest items; just outside the window is the steam-powered tugboat Baltimore, built in 1906 and a stalwart of the once-thriving port that used to sprawl across this waterfront.
isual relics are a big part of the fun of this museum, from old painted metal signs to great glowing neon beacons for cars, insurance, and seafood.
© Geoff Brown from Moon Baltimore, 1st Edition