A Lot to See and Do at the Baltimore Museum of Industry

By Charyce Burrell

Did you know, that Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the Linotype Composing Machine? This machine was the first device that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses. This and so much more, I learned while visiting the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) over the summer.

Pictures and a small version of Mergenthaler creation
Wall dedicated to Mergenthaler and explaining his invention

While walking around the BMI, the Education Coordinator, Mike Kuethem explained who Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School (my school!) was named after and what he was famous for doing. It is said that Mergenthaler’s invention of the Linotype machine in 1885 is regarded as the greatest advance in printing since the development of moveable type 400 years earlier.

The museum has a great photography exhibit on view titled “SHUTTERED: Images from the Fall of Bethlehem Steel”. For nearly a century, Bethlehem Steel was one of America‚Äôs leading producers of steel and shipbuilding before falling into bankruptcy and finally shutting down operations in 2012. The exhibit shows you photographs of the different type of things that happened after the fall of Bethlehem steel and also how it affected certain things around the area such as the community and the union. The photographs were very powerful.

Retiree’s meeting 2014
This is one of the photographs from the exhibition SHUTTERED
The photographer is JM Glordano
1800’s phone booth located in the Communications Gallery Exhibition
These flags are used as a
form of communication

At the BMI, various things around the museum are hands on (they all have a green symbol by it saying “please touch”). These experiences are great for hands on learners and gives students the opportunity to experience objects and scenes learned about in the classroom. Did you know the first wireless phone was created April, 3, 1973? It was said that the first mobile phone call was made by Motorola employee Martin Cooper.

This is a hands on exhibition were kids can develop games and see how game designers work with there programs and how things are developed

Each exhibit in the Baltimore Museum of Industry is designed to create an immersive experience. There are even exhibitions in the museum that can talk about trades still in practice today like graphic design, video game design, communications, pharmacy technician, garment industry, and mechanics. This was one of my favorites!

There is something for everyone here at any age level. Some of the programs they offer are History Alive Tour, Kids’ MotorWorks, Kids’ Cannery, City Builders, and In the Neighborhood. Each program explores a different industry and trade that has Baltimore ties. Thank you to the BMI for having Arts Every Day and sharing everything you have to offer with us!

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