I had an enjoyable and productive meeting in downtown Brooklyn early this afternoon with the director of the Roebling Museum. As its name indicates, the museum honors the legacy of the family who built the Brooklyn Bridge. I have always known how important John A. Roebling and his son Washington were. However, it was not until visiting the museum a few weeks ago that I grasped the family’s true significance. At one time their factory outside Trenton, New Jersey manufactured 80% of the wire used in the United States. That wire was strung on telegraph and telephone poles, elevators (Otis was a huge customer), electric cords & cables, bridges, and just about anything else one can imagine that required wire.
Today’s meeting was the product of that visit to the museum. A friend and I had a tour with a very engaging and knowledgeable docent. In the course of the conversation I mentioned the possibility of myself volunteering in some capacity. It seems I will now be writing a little content for the museum’s social media platforms and perhaps eventually work my way up to a walking tour. The Roeblings are fascinating and played key roles in many of the nation’s most important event. Washington himself was an officer in the Union Army. There are additional Interpretation opportunities regarding immigration, labor, the World Wars, and the eventual collapse of the manufacturing sector within the United States, to name just a few things. These are some of the stories I hope to tell.
Volunteering with the museum is a good fir for me because I can contribute in a modest way without taking away from the many other projects I am involved with at the moment. I would like to learn more about science and engineering as well.
As for the museum itself, I should note how easy it is to reach via mass transportation. One can get there very easily from New York or Philadelphia Penn Station to Trenton, followed by a fifteen minute train ride on the River Line. For those who drive, it is near the turnpike. It is definitely worth the time.