Formerly known as the Atwater Kent Museum, this museum chronicling the city's 300-year-long history reopened in spring 2012 following an extensive renovation. Started in 1938 by A. Atwater Kent, a wealthy inventor, radio magnate, and manufacturer, the museum contains more than 100,000 objects—everything from textiles to toys—that illustrate what everyday life was like for generations of Philadelphians. It occupies an elegant 1826 Greek Revival building designed by John Haviland, who was also the architect of the Eastern State Penitentiary. New exhibits include the interactive "My Philadelphia," which explores the city's 19th- and 20th-century development using major intersections as reference points; "Made in Philadelphia," which will have changing displays on different industries; and "Played in Philadelphia: Phillies Fandemonium," a celebration of the city's baseball franchise. Among the eclectic items on show are a 17th-century wampum belt given to William Penn by the Lenape people, George Washington's presidential desk, a wine glass used by Benjamin Franklin, and boxing gloves worn by former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.
Oct 19, 2008
Small historic museum, has a lot of curious odds and ends. Not really a must-see, but since it's near lots of other excellent attractions, it's OK for a quick peek if you have enough time.