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Manufacturing and Power are the two sections of this exhibit that explores the legacy of American innovators from the 18th to 20th century who made America a manufacturing superpower! Hundreds of artifacts, including operating steam engines, help tell their stories.

Gothic Steam Engine
Despite the care lavished on its appearance, this massive and flamboyant engine was originally installed out of sight inside a lead processing factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is one of the finest examples of ornamented nineteenth century industrial machinery to have survived.

Date: ca. 1855
ID: 30.489.1
Highland Park Engine
This electrical generator – originally built for Henry Ford’s Highland Park factory – is driven by a direct connected hybrid internal combustion / steam engine.  By 1919 it took nine of these units to accommodate the power demands of Model T production.

Date: 1916
ID: 30.1200.1

McCoy Lubricator
Elijah McCoy was one of the most prominent African-American inventors of his day, obtaining more than 50 patents between 1872 and 1929. He used the skills he learned as an engineer and locomotive fireman to invent this device that automatically oiled moving parts on steam engines. His demand for such good quality workmanship led to the phrase "the real McCoy."

Date: ca. 1882
ID: 31.2039.2

Newcomen Engine
This Newcomen-type engine is the oldest surviving steam engine in the world.  It was built in England around 1750-60 – the period of rapidly increasing mechanization recognized as the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Date: 1750-1760
ID: 29.1506.1