Celebrating the “Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee” … and South Milwaukee

Teddy Roosevelt at the helm of a Bucyrus Steam Shovel—digging the Panama Canal, 1906.

An exhibition that pays homage to “the most significant engineering marvels in Milwaukee’s history” would not be complete without items from South Milwaukee, and the company that defined our city for generations.

That’s why it was exciting to hear the Grohmann Museum will be featuring several items from the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum collection, including a scale model of a Bucyrus dragline.

The South Milwaukee Industrial Museum partnered with Grohmann on the exhibit. They are using the Bucyrus display cases to add a unique industrial look to the entire show.

The exhibit opens on Friday and continues through Dec. 22. It is open daily at 1000 N. Broadway, on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. More details on the exhibit here.

From it …

Have you ever used a QWERTY keyboard? Ridden a motorcycle? Adjusted the thermostat? Been a passenger on a boat with an outboard motor? If answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you have a Milwaukee engineer/inventor to thank. See, all of these marvels, and many more, originated in Milwaukee. From household names like the Sawzall, to more arcane developments like DESCO’s diving apparatus, Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee seeks to highlight not only Milwaukee-born equipment and machinery, but also the engineers who created them.  

This exhibition will feature some of the most significant engineering marvels in Milwaukee’s history and will include photographs, documents, ephemera and a number of the actual machines highlighted in the book of the same name by engineer Thomas Fehring, who also serves as guest curator. Nash automobiles, Merkel motorcycles, Evinrude outboards, Johnson Controls environmental systems, Masterlock locks, and Stereo-Realist cameras—these are but a few of the Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee; a one-of-a-kind exhibit filled with one-of-a-kind inventions.

Don’t forget, you can learn more about, and support, the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum efforts here and here.

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