What ever happened to the Canadian Museum of Making?
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  1. #1
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    Default What ever happened to the Canadian Museum of Making?

    I woke up this morning thinking about this place, it was that amazing underground museum talked about here years ago. Did anyone on PM ever visit it for real... I remember it was always never quite open yet. Their web site wasn't working and I couldn't find any news about them. Here is the YouTube video

    Introduction to the Museum of Making - YouTube

    I also remember some collectors were mad because they were getting some rare American machines..... Like maybe some twist drill cutter from Cleveland that a museum sold.......

    Updates please?

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    It's still there although it's run more or less as a private museum. Apparently it's not open to the public most of the time. Whether it will be or not in the future is anybody's guess.

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    Thanks... Have you been there?

    I just found this link to some pictures.... Amazing

    museum of making | Time To Be Inspired

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    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    Did anyone on PM ever visit it for real... I remember it was always never quite open yet.
    In August of 2008, I spent a day with Ian McGregor as he took my wife and I through his museum. It is truly a remarkable experience, especially considering that we had the benefit of Ian's narration of the story behind the museum, and each of the wondrous pieces that he has collected.

    I met Ian through a friend in England who is writing a book on the history of the steam engine indicator. There is an entire mezzanine in the "basement" of the museum that is dedicated to his collection of indicators. The only collection of indicators that I have seen that eclipses Ian's is what I saw in the stores of the Science Museum in London. Yes, there is a mezzanine in Ian's basement!

    One has to see this museum to really appreciate it.

    When he turned on the power to the lineshafts in the museum, almost all of the machines came to life.

    Ian certainly made my wife and I feel comfortable. He is truly a gracious and generous host.

    I have not been in contact with him for several years, and certainly hope that all is well with him and his museum. At the time that we were there, there were no regular hours. We had made arrangements several weeks prior to our visit.

    If I eventually get my photos off from my old computer, I will post a few here.

    Bruce E. Babcock

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    I called and left a message once when I first found out about this place (local)

    The guy called me back, asked me who I was and told me it was not open to the public. He seemed a bit sketchy on the phone

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    Website seems to be gone, maybe he was getting more visitors to the museum than he was comfortable with. Or safety requirements and insurance may have became a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    I woke up this morning thinking about this place, it was that amazing underground museum talked about here years ago. Did anyone on PM ever visit it for real... I remember it was always never quite open yet. Their web site wasn't working and I couldn't find any news about them. Here is the YouTube video

    Introduction to the Museum of Making - YouTube

    I also remember some collectors were mad because they were getting some rare American machines..... Like maybe some twist drill cutter from Cleveland that a museum sold.......

    Updates please?
    IIRC, The Canadian MofM became the eventual home of a true Phoenix Lincoln style miller that was described here in 35 posts or less.



    Well, maybe not mad, but a trifle chagrined since Phoenix Iron Works was a sort of a pioneer in their field (being the original home of both Messeurs Pratt & Messeurs Whitney, one can understand why) and such a pioneering machine tool effort should at least deserve an American home. And possibly better an American PUBLIC home.

    It shames me that Americans are not more mindful of their history. Too many Moon-shots and memorials based on pure power rather than one's brain and ability over the challenges, perhaps?

    And a moon-shot may be technically out of our reach now too.

    "Those who forget the past...."

    It would seem that the miller is not forgotten. From Rivett608's reference...look to the right where you'll see the "shield" badge...



    Joe in NH

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    Its still there, and slowly growing- but its a private collection at this point. Not sure what the long term plans are.
    I have a friend who is full time staff there- he is an amazing blacksmith and lover of old tools, and he acquires, restores, and runs exhibits.
    I just saw him in August, he is still bringing in new large machines.
    I would imagine that if Bill contacted them, they would let him visit.

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    Thanks for the update.... Good to know the whole thing hasn't been filled in and buried. Shame it can't be public......

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    A friend made a tour through there happen for a bunch of the Hobby Metalwork folks that met monthly in Edmonton some time back. Wish I had been able to make it.

    My bet, unless the proprietor makes some sort of plans otherwise, is that it will make for a pretty well attended Auction when the family tries to get it all sorted out and cleared up to get the estate settled. Seems to be the way of these things, if there is no set in place succession plan.

    Seen it happen with a private museum out on the east edge of Saskatchewan several years back. Some of the locals were quite upset that the family was not able to keep it going, as they had donated some of the displays that were sold off that day.

    Cheers
    Trev

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevj View Post
    Seen it happen with a private museum out on the east edge of Saskatchewan several years back. Some of the locals were quite upset that the family was not able to keep it going, as they had donated some of the displays that were sold off that day.
    Most museums that accept donations now have a "no-commital" understanding in their acquisition policy.

    For instance, the American Precision Museum has their version: http://www.americanprecision.org/ima...ent_policy.pdf

    Materials are acquired for the collections with the understanding that they will be kept for the foreseeable
    future. Nevertheless, the museum reserves the right to remove objects according to its policy. Except
    under extraordinary circumstances, the Museum will not acquire material with restrictions or without also
    receiving complete title.

    Note here that complete title means they can do as they please. Scrap it, sell it for funding, donate it to another museum, or even a private collector more capable of preservation. The museum will do as it will. And now, given the world as it is and the vagaries of human interest, a previous promise to keep, preserve and protect is set aside.

    And generally I support this thinking. NOTHING is forever - as much as we might wish it.

    The good thing is generally once things make it to "museum land" - they are henceforth considered of value and will be treated as such going forward.

    "See this Steam Engine" my Manchester, NH friend says to me very proud. "THIS we bought at auction at the Henry Ford Museum in 1983"

    He was referring to an Atlas Steam Engine which the tag showed has having been bought by the Ford Museums in 1929 from a shop in Nashua, NH. My friend considered he was returning the engine to it's "rightful home" in Cow Hampshire.

    But other than originally having been used in Cow Hampshire, the engine had little to keep it here - or bring it back.

    It is, after all ONLY an atlas steam engine - which was an "ok" engine of it's era. There were better engines.

    And this is the way of it. They are only "things." And someone, somewhere will alway appreciate them.

    Just as Jay Leno's former Henry Ford Museum engine is now "Jay Leno's Engine"



    Joe in NH


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