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“Nice for the money...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Waltham
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Houses early machinery for the local automobile, textile and watch- and clock-making industries.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Nice for the money...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

This is a nice place for an inexpensive date idea and I love that there are plenty of places to eat afterwards. When my boyfriend and I went a few days ago they were renovating due to a water issue. The exhibits were interesting enough. We were out within an hour.

Thank Manda2727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fun place to take the kids”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

Interesting collection of industrial tools that you can see in action as well as a cool plasma art display

Visited May 2012
Thank DaveBOS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Small museum”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

It's okay, not much to see, mostly the areas past, looms, car, watch collection, electicity display. The main mill turned into apartments. Brick firestack still standing. River runs by mill.

Visited November 2012
Thank boarstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“See How Things Work at the Charles River Museum of Industry”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

A real hands-on museum, merging history, engineering, and fun. Kids will love working the foot-powered player piano, the antique telephone switchboard, and the many engines, lathes, and other machines that really go when you push the button. Adults will appreciate the fascinating old tools and machines, the rich historical context, the gallery of clocks and watches (some faces painted in near-microscopic detail with single-hair brushes!) and the fantastic building itself, the old mill building that housed the first factory in the United States. Where else can you get up-close and personal with a real 19th-century steam fire engine, a power loom, a Model A Ford, and an example of the first machine for making flat-bottomed paper bags (invented and patented by a woman)?

Although the museum is small, the setting is perfect for a longer outing: right on the bike path along the Charles River, next to the falls in the center of Waltham, with Moody Street's cornucopia of ethnic restaurants and great Back Pages Bookstore just steps away. Don't miss it!

Visited September 2012
Thank mvh13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
65 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Hard to find, but worth the trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

I went to the museum for a private party. It was an absolutely fascinating collection of machinery, history and invention. The building is an old brick factory building. It had two Mergenthaler typesetting machines, a paperbag making machine and a caseful of Watham alarm clocks. Anything that was made in Waltham at one time or another, clothing, bicycles, watches is there. There was also a special exhibit of plasma machines- glass formed in various shapes filled with clear gases which when subjected to electricity light up like something in a mad scientists lab. This museum is great for everyone. I want to go back for one of the steam-punk events. Staff was also very good about answering questions, and they do operate some of the equipment if its a slow day.

Please check their website for more info: www.crmi.org

Several important notes:

The museum is not open every day, Thurs-Sun 10-4.

The building has no elevator and there is a steep flight of stairs to the second floor, this area may be primarily used as function space.

They claim to be wheelchair accessible, but arrangements need to be made to use an alternate to the front door.

Very important (I rode around for half an hour before I found the lot): Parking is in a municipal garage on Pine Street, (Set your GPS to the official address: 19 Pine Street.) a right off of Moody Street if you are coming from Newton. Go past the Embassy movie theatre, past a private parking lot and take a left into the municipal lot. There is a paved, lighted walkway from the back of the garage to the Museum.

Lots of great restaurants up and down Moody Street, for a snack, lunch or dinner of all ethnicities for before or after your visit. More on that another time..

Visited September 2012
5 Thank PaulsLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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