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1876 World’s Fair Weekend

June 11 @ 10:00 am - June 12 @ 7:30 pm

Included in museum admission

Travel back in time and celebrate the engineering, industry, and culture of Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial International Exhibition. Enjoy machinery demonstrations, pop-up exhibits, Victorian games, family activities, tethered balloon rides, music and food!

June 11th 10am-5pm

June 12th 10am-7:30pm

About the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition

145 years ago, in 1876, Philadelphia hosted the Centennial International Exhibition, considered the country’s first World’s Fair. Visitors from 37 countries trekked to the site, located on a sprawling 450 acre campus, with nearly 10 million visitors taking in the sights, sounds, and smells across the span of six months.

Machinery Hall, the second largest building on the grounds, plays an important role in the country’s industrial history.  Everything from massive steam engines to intricate woodworking machinery were on display, fully introducing America’s industrial might on the world’s stage for the first time.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

11:30 

Corliss Demo Machinery Hall (Sat & Sun)

Our massive 115-ton Corliss steam engine is a focal point of the museum’s Centennial gallery, where it has been mechanically restored to its former glory and repainted its original color. Join us as we operate the engine and learn more about this fascinating piece of industrial history from the museum’s historian.

12:00 

Meet & Greet with President Grant Machinery Hall (Sat & Sun)

Travel back in time and have a conversation with the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant! Hear about his life experiences, from his time in the Civil War to his presidency, and what it was like to live during the 19th Century.

Models in Motion, Museum Plaza (Sat & Sun)

See some of our historical steam engine models in action and learn the science behind how they work!

12:30 

Victorian Parlor Games, Education Center (Sat & Sun)

Join Victorian-era re-enactors for some old-fashioned fun! In a time before technology, parlor games were excellent entertainment for dinner parties and social events. Put on your thinking cap and get ready for some 19th century amusement!

1:00 

$5 Docent Tours, Lobby (Sat & Sun)

Take a guided tour of the museum with one of our knowledgeable docents to learn more about our nation’s industrial heritage! Tour lasts about 50 min.

1:30

Models in Motion, Museum Plaza (Sat & Sun)

See some of our historical steam engine models in action and learn the science behind how they work!

2:00

Antebellum Marine Band, Machinery Hall

The 1876 World’s Fair Weekend will feature live music by the Antebellum Marine Band, which presents the US Marine Band of the 1800’s, its look and its music, with a full woodwind section to compliment the brass.

2:30

Corliss Demo with President Grant, Machinery Hall (Sat & Sun)

The 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, opened the 1876 World’s Fair with great fanfare. After music, and a speech, he led the crowds to Machinery Hall, where he and Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil turned on the mighty Corliss Engine, an engineering marvel. Join us as we re-enact this historical moment in the 21st Century.

3:00

Meet & Greet with President Grant Machinery Hall (Sat & Sun)

Travel back in time and have a conversation with the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant! Hear about his life experiences, from his time in the Civil War to his presidency, and what it was like to live during the 19th Century.

3:30

Victorian Parlor Games, Education Center (Sat & Sun)

Join Victorian-era re-enactors for some old-fashioned fun! In a time before technology, parlor games were excellent entertainment for dinner parties and social events. Put on your thinking cap and get ready for some 19th century amusement!

Models in Motion Museum Plaza (Sat & Sun)

See some of our historical steam engine models in action and learn the science behind how they work!

3:30-7:30

Locomotive Experience, Foundry Park (Sun. Only, Weather Permitting)

Participants will be able to climb into the cab of our 1941 Whitcomb diesel-electric locomotive, learn how the locomotive works, then take the controls under the supervision of museum personnel. See the front desk to purchase tickets.

5:30-7:30

Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides (Sun. Only Weather Permitting)

Take a tethered hot air balloon ride for an aerial of the historic Bethlehem Steel Plant. First come, first served. Time up in the air on the tethered ride will vary due to wind and weather and the amount of people waiting to ride. No infants or children under 42″ may ride. All children must stand on their own in the basket, they can not be picked up and held in the arms of an adult. Sponsored by Unity Bank.

 

ALL DAY ACTIVITIES

Printing Press Demo, Education Center

The museum will be demonstrating our newly acquired 1830’s Acorn Press, which has not been printed on in the last 70 years. Watch our print experts explain the process of print-making on the Acorn Press, and then you’ll have the opportunity to make your own print on our 1876 Daughaday Press!

Be a Centennial Exhibitor! Kid’s Activity, Museum Plaza

At the 1876 World’s Fair there were thousands of inventions and discoveries on display. Join the excitement by becoming an exhibitor! You get to decide what you would show off at the world’s fair and then create your very-own exhibitor’s pass!

Votes for Women Button Kid’s Activity, Museum Plaza

Before the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, women couldn’t vote and therefore didn’t have a voice in important decisions affecting the country. At the 1876 World’s Fair, women fought for the right to vote by marching, protesting, and handing out pamphlets. Join the Suffrage Movement by creating your own “Votes for Women” button!

Women’s Pavilion Display, Education Center

Although women raised the majority of money used to build the main exhibition hall at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park, the all-male Centennial Board organizing the event denied them exhibit space inside. Undeterred, the small group of determined women raised more money to build a separate Woman’s Pavilion. Completely run and staffed by women, the exhibit showcased the domestic arts and female scientific and industrial achievements. Visit the Women’s Pavilion to see why the display became of one the Fair’s most popular destinations!

Visiting Museums & Libraries

Each of our partners below will have tables set up on the pavilion with activities and displays related to Victorian life and the World’s Fair!

National Canal Museum

Moravian Historical Society

American Precision Museum

Fire Museum of Maryland (Sat. Only)

Bethlehem Area Public Library

 

Details

Start:
June 11 @ 10:00 am
End:
June 12 @ 7:30 pm
Cost:
Included in museum admission

Venue

National Museum of Industrial History
602 East Second Street
Bethlehem, 18015 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
610-694-6644
Website:
nmih.org