Special Exhibits Hall: Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Suite
The Museum of Science and Industry: Yesteryears

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) opened to the public in 1933. The building that the Museum of Science and Industry now occupies however, has a rich history going back to its construction for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

Clicking an image opens a full size picture in .png file format.


Winged Victory - Click to EnlargeThe Palace of Fine Art building was built for the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition. It was designed by Charles B. Atwood and, unlike the other White City buildings, it was constructed of brick under a plaster facade. The main building is 320 feet by 500 feet and has two annexes, each 120 feet by 200 feet. It featured a 100 foot transept that was 70 feet high. The dome is 60 feet in diameter and 125 feet high. The dome was surmounted by a statue of 'Winged Victory'. The structure cost $670,000 to build and is the only one of the World Fair buildings that was designed to be permanent.

Fine Art Building - 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition
American Lithographic Company, New York.


After the 1893 Chicago World's Fair ended, the building housed the Field Columbian Museum, which evolved into the Field Museum of Natural History. When a new Field Museum building was opened in 1920, the old World's Fair Palace of Fine Art building was left vacant.

Jackson Park, Field Columbian Museum, Chicago - #10
Curt Teich & Co., Chicago - pm 1905
note: Glitter applied by the manufacturer.

Field Columbian Museum, Jackson Park, Chicago - #13
Unknown Publisher - <Germany> - pm 1909

Field Columbian Museum, Jackson Park, Chicago - #1362
V.O. Hammon Pub. Co., Chicago - pm 1910

Field Museum, Jackson Park, Chicago - #1613
V.O. Hammon Pub. Co., Chicago

Field's Columbian Museum, Jackson Park, Chicago - #650
Unknown Publisher - pm 1912


After some years, the building was selected as the site for a new science museum. During its conversion into the Museum of Science and Industry, the building's exterior was refaced in limestone, preserving the 1893 Beaux Arts look, while the interior was replaced with a design by Alfred Shaw in the Art Moderne style. The Museum of Science and Industry opened to the public in three stages between 1933 and 1940. The first opening ceremony took place during the Century of Progress International Exposition.

Museum of Science and Industries, Jackson Park, Chicago - #113
Curt Teich & Co., Inc., Chicago
note: Incorrect Museum name

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #319
A.C. Co.

Museum of Science and Industry, Jackson Park, Chicago - #6
Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass.

View from Lagoon - Ca. 1950's
 

1847 McCormick Reaper Model - Ca. 1950's
 


America at War Exhibit - Ca. 1950's

Auxiliary Sloop "DAL"  - Ca. 1950's
 

Brush Motor Wagon - 1906 - Ca. 1950's

America at War Exhibit - Ca. 1950's

Coal Mine Hoist and Head Frame - Ca. 1950's -
This massive Surface equipment is designed to hoist 3,000 tons of coal daily from a 500 ft. depth. Here it raises and lowers the mine cage between the surface and the shaft bottom.
 

Coal Mine Scene - Ca. 1950's

Commercial Electromagnet - Ca. 1950's
 

Corliss Steam Engine - Ca. 1950's

Diorama - "The Doctor" - Ca. 1950's
 

Early Apothecary Shop - Ca. 1950's
 

Early Chicago Street Cars - Ca. 1950's
 

Foucault Pendulum - Ca. 1950's
 

Foundry  - Ca. 1950's -
Molten iron pours from the tilted electric furnace in the Museum's working Foundry to be cast into machine parts and souvenirs.
 

Home Woodworking Shop - Ca. 1950's

Locomotive - The Rocket - Ca. 1950's

Medieval Scriptorium - Ca. 1950's
 

Milking Machine - Ca. 1950's

Mine Train  - Ca. 1950's -
This mine locomotive and train carries visitors from the shaft bottom to the working face of the underground Coal Mine where heavy mining machinery is seen in action.
 

Newspaper Press  - Ca. 1950's -
This rotary press was used to print one of Chicago's daily newspapers, printing 30,000 complete issues per hour.
 

North Court - Ca. 1950's

Oil Refinery - Ca. 1950's

Old Street Cars  - Ca. 1950's -
Two replicas of Chicago's early means of transportation. The horse car was in service from 1859 to 1906, and the cable car from 1882 to 1906.
 

Packard Collection of Watches - Ca. 1950's
 

Periodic Table of Elements - Ca. 1950's
 

Periodic Table of Elements  - Ca. 1950's -
The ninety-two elements are here arrayed in colorful and orderly fashion. These "building blocks of the universe" stand beneath the great central dome of the Museum.
 

Rotary Newspaper Press - Ca. 1950's

Section of Redwood - Ca. 1950's
 

Stage Coach - Ca. 1950's

Surge Generator  - Ca. 1950's - 1,000,000 volts of man-made lightning flash from the mechanical "cloud" in the background to demonstrate how natural forces are reproduced in the laboratory to study their destructive effects.

Transfer of Momentum - Ca. 1950's
note: the small signs on each side of display read; "Do not get hands between balls."

Two Famous Chicago Attractions, Museum of Science and Industry - #DT-80677-B
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

Realistic Reminders of WWII, Museum of Science and Industry - #6831-C
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

Table of Elements, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #6830-C
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

Showcase for Steel, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #6833-C
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

The Latest in Housing, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #P30649
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #E-59
Aero Distributing Co., Evanston, IL

Flash, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - #P7404
Cameo Greeting Cards, Inc., Chicago

END OF EXHIBIT

 


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