The first steam engine in America will be shown at an exhibition
opening November 21 at the National Museum of American History,
part of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C.

Title of the show is ‘Engines of Change: The American
Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860.’

Steam was elemental to the Industrial Revolution, providing a
source of power that could be belted to machinery and thus usher in
a whole new age in world history.

Vast changes took place in American life, and in the life of
many other nations, when the Industrial Revolution got underway in
the first half of the 19th Century. ‘Engines of Change’
will show some of the people and the machines that were part of
this great transformation which accompanied the arrival of
industry, out of the cottage era into huge manufacturing

The exhibition will start with a re creation of the 1851
‘Crystal Palace’ World’s Fair, where American
technology first won international recognition. It moves back to
show what made the American impact there possible.

The tools of farm men and women will be displayed, along with
those of skilled craftspeople. Next in the exhibit will be some of
the early machines brought to this country from England, including
the first steam engine and the earliest American textile

The way American industry evolved, and those who took roles in
making it do so, will be next in view. New machines and new ways of
organizing work will be featured. Closing the exhibit will be a
film on the later years of the Industrial Revolution, raising the
question of ‘Where do we go from here?’

If you have not visited this museum, you will find all sorts of
interesting exhibits, including antique steam and gas engines. When
you visit Washington, put this high on your list of things to see
and do. It’s highly worth while for all our readers, families
and friends.

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