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“Love it or hate it”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Mercer Museum

Mercer Museum
Ranked #2 of 31 things to do in Doylestown
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Managed by the Bucks County Historical Society, this museum pays tribute to Henry Chapman Mercer, noted archaeologist, antiquarian, artist and writer.
Ambler, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Love it or hate it”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

Endless display of tools - hate to be so gender specific but it made me want to stick a pen in my eye. The males in my family thought it was great.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank mildlyadventurous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Wellsville, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“One of my favorite museums”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013

I'm a potter and a tin tinker so, of course, I feel a connection to Henry Chapman Mercer. Fine craftsmanship is what I strive for and quality tools make all the difference. The Mercer Museum is a collection of tools from the 1800s. Also are notes on the use of the tools, the way of construction when all construction depended on the grace of a well-practiced craftsman's hand. It's well displayed and is near other worthy sites to visit such as Fonthill and the Moravian Tile Works. I would urge people to go and would also urge people to buy handmade and honor those who keep the old skills alive and growing.

Visited January 2013
Thank Elaine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wacky and wonderful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2013

Unlike any museum you've ever been to. A unique way to look at American history—through its tools. Overstuffed and overwhelming, but totally worth an hour of your time.

Visited October 2013
Thank cazzie55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
100 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“The concrete palace--Don't miss this Doylestown treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

It is amazing what you can do with pored concrete. The Mercer Museum is an architectural wonder as well as being filled with the most eclectic collection of early American tools and daily use items. The items may look like a jumble and not much is explained or even identified but the fact that these implements are saved from being melted down (metal objects and tools) or burned for firewood makes this one of the most important collections of how our Founding Fathers made their way in this new land and will be studied by many scholars for years.

This is a great museum for kids because there are some experiential sections throughout the 7 floors. For seniors it may be difficult as there is only one elevator and each floor has two or three steps up/steps down as you go 'round the exhibit floor. Some steps don't have handrails but are well marked on the steps with white so you know a change in altitude is coming. Because the museum predates ADA requirements, it is a challenge for wheelchair-bound people, but, based on the number of wheelchair visitors, this doesn't seem to deter them, so go for it! There is a lot to see.

The best thing to do is to start with the top of the museum (take the elevator to 6) and go to floor seven then thread your way back down to the first floor. The gallows are on 7. Probably the most provocative item in the museum is the VAMPIRE KILLING kit. The label on the case lid reads: "Vampire Killing Kit/This box contains the items considered necessary, for the protection of persons who travel into little known countries of Eastern Europe, where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires...." Another placard also talks about authenticating this tool kit (no spoiler here :) ). This is a MUST SEE for vampire fans.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Concrete is concrete. This means that in the winter the temperatures are COLD inside the museum. Yeah, there is a coat room by the ticket desk, DON'T USE IT! Keep your coat with you, you will appreciate it.

HOW MUCH TIME TO SPEND? For the basic museum visitor there are enough info plaques to give a good overview of each exhibit and select tools. This is more of a museum for experts to spend days on end looking at each item which is placed in relationship to associated items. I would suggest a minimum of an hour to two hours to amble through the exhibits (the lower number based on the outside temperature --read that real cold or not). It is time well spent to appreciate pre-industrial revolution daily life. Realize, someday there will be someone like Henry Mercer who will collect pre-digital items that show future generations what life was like before internet, texting, i-phones, etc.

Don't miss this museum when you are in Doylestown.

Visited November 2013
Thank rosietomato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Step Back in Time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

Everything from ancient medical to a Conestoga wagon is here. Well placed plaques describe each item, even in showcases. The building itself is even old-fashioned as a museum in a rustic way. Many special events....car shows and pumpkin carvings, are held seasonally on the vast lawns around the building. Christmas is a candle-lit walk back in time.

Visited May 2013
Thank Alana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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