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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

History Museum - Springfield, Massachusetts

The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History in Springfield, Massachusetts is a first-rate experience both for educational and pure entertainment value. We first mentioned this history museum in this post about Brigham’s.

The museum illustrates in original artifacts and imaginative graphic displays the parade of industry and invention that made Springfield, and indeed, the Hartford-Springfield-Chicopee-Holyoke Connecticut River corridor in the 19th and early 20th centuries such an innovator in American industry.

It opened in the fall of 2009, the newest edition to a superb campus of museums, including art, science, the library and archives, collectively called the Springfield Museums.

Brigham’s was only one of many in the interesting display of commerce in the bustling city. As you can see, the Rolls Royce motor car was manufactured here, along with the Indian Motocycle (there are several on display), and the GeeBee airplanes (a story we’ll cover at another time).

One is impressed by how much was produced here, invented here, and how a diverse community thrived on not merely manufacturing, but the very ingenuity of manufacturing. One may view the museum as not only Springfield-centric, but as telling the broader story of the U.S. on its rise as a leading nation, if not quite yet a superpower, in the bold and hopeful decades from the American Civil War to World War II.

For more on the Wood Museum of Springfield History, have a look here.

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