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“Hidden in the heart of Waltham”

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Waltham
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Attraction details
Owner description: Houses early machinery for the local automobile, textile and watch- and clock-making industries.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We parked in the municipal parking area behind the Embassy Theater and walked across the footbridge that took us to the other side of the river, watching for the mill smoke stack which is the entrance to the museum. There are benches and the grounds are very nicely kept. On a nice day it would be a lovely place to sit on one of the benches to linger, listening to the rushing water or watching one of the squirrels or rabbits scurry about.

We entered and were greeted by one of the several volunteers working there at the time. He gave us a little information and overview on the history of the mill and Francis Cabot Lowell. For many things, it is a "hands on" museum. We found exhibits on bicycles (with wooden rims), steam and electric engines, printing presses, an old fire engine, a working machine shop, models of trains, and an exhibit on the second floor filled with watches, time pieces, etc. made in the Waltham Watch Co. There is a small exhibit of early calculators and slide rulers. There are other things as well as those I've mentioned. One of the treasures of the museum is their volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge and are willing to bring some of these pieces to life. They are dedicated and obviously love what they are doing.

We spent almost two hours there, partly due to our informative chats with two of the volunteers. This museum and dining in one of the many restaurants close by combine to make a lovely outing.

2  Thank theConcordTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"industrial revolution"
in 7 reviews
"charles river"
in 8 reviews
"two hours"
in 3 reviews
"watch making"
in 2 reviews
"interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"all kinds"
in 2 reviews
"waltham area"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"watches"
in 13 reviews
"factory"
in 6 reviews
"machinery"
in 7 reviews
"tools"
in 6 reviews
"bicycles"
in 5 reviews
"exhibits"
in 8 reviews
"model"
in 3 reviews
"invention"
in 3 reviews
"history"
in 16 reviews
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37 - 41 of 48 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2013

The info about the industrial revolution era factories in Waltham was very interesting. Having the cocktail hour on the museum floor made for great fun for the entire wedding party.

1  Thank Ed B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

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

Thank DaveBOS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

Thank boarstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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