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Explore Bethlehem’s National Museum of Industrial History

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is one of our state’s greatest cities. Almost singlehandedly, and in tandem with the contributions of Pittsburgh and Johnstown in the west, Bethlehem Steel constructed America’s crown jewel, New York City. Skyscrapers soared upwards to impossible heights. As pioneers of the steel “I beam”, Bethlehem allowed America to reach new heights—literally. Today, the annals of America’s industrial achievements, the accomplishments of our workers, and the innovations of our greatest minds can all be celebrated in the visionary storytelling of the National Museum of Industrial history. Through exciting exhibits, engaging programs, and amazing history, the Smithsonian Affiliated museum explores the role of industry in America’s explosive growth as a global powerhouse. 

Through exhibits that describe historical moments to displays of the latest cutting-edge technology in industry, the museum not only preserves the 100-year-old Bethlehem Steel facility, it also looks to the future, continuing its own story. Currently on exhibit is “The Impossibly Real Art of Peter Maier.” The exhibit explores Maier’s work as an automobile designer for GM that would become Senior Designer for Cadillac, Pontiac, and Chevrolet. His artwork combines industrial paint technology with traditional brush painting to creative a 3-dimensional effect described as “impossibly real.” The exhibit is on display until March 11th.  

You can help preserve the collections for future generations, too. Adopting an artifact provides the museum with funding for maintenance and exhibits, ensures the priceless artifacts will remain preserved for future generations, and helps continue the mission to inspire tomorrow’s visionaries. Click here to adopt an artifact and bring American industrial history to life!

The museum holds regular guided tours on Saturdays at 2PM. Other options include special “How it Works” tours with an additional $5 to regular museum admission. On February 25th, Mapping the Growth of Bethlehem Steel examines several historic maps of Bethlehem and traces the growth of the steel giant as maps mark places such as tunnels, residences, and even an island. 

Besides the changing exhibits, the National Museum of Industrial History tells the fascinating tales of the steel, textile, and other industries through beautifully-designed, full-scale machinery and enthusiastic, knowledgeable docents. Visit the website to plan your visit to Bethlehem today with a stay at a nearby bed & breakfast.

National Museum of Industrial History

602 East 2nd Street, 

Bethlehem, PA 18015

610-694-6644

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