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Waltham, Massachusetts

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation

A steampunk wonderland that preserves America's history of industrial innovation. 

In what used to be an expansive boiler and engine room sits a treasure trove of cranks, gears, and over-sized wires known collectively as the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation.

Established to preserve America’s rich history of mechanical progress and focusing on the industrial revolution in the country, the museum offers visitors a chance to see how the world worked before computers and wireless ubiquity. The collection features exhibits on such topics as steam power, clockworks, and pre-combustion transportation. Among the recently-ancient machines in the museum are a titanic contraption that only produces minuscule clothing rivets, a foot-powered printing press, and hundreds of watches and clocks which reflect the city’s history as a major timepiece manufacturer. Whether visitors want to show their ungrateful kids how things were done before computers or just get some inspiration for their steampunk cosplay, the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is the bee’s knees.