Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) - Exhibits


The Museum has over 2,000 exhibits, displayed in 75 major halls. The Museum has several major permanent exhibits: The Coal Mine re-creates a working deep-shaft, bituminous coal mine inside the Museum's Central Pavilion, using original equipment from Old Ben #17 circa 1933. Since 1954, the Museum has had the U-505 submarine, one of just two German submarines captured during World War II, and the only one on display in the Western Hemisphere.

The Museum opened The New U-505 Experience on June 5, 2005. Take Flight recreates a San Francisco-to-Chicago flight using a Boeing 727 jet plane donated by United Airlines. The silent film star and stock market investor Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is on display. The Great Train Story, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) model railroad, recounts the story of transportation from Chicago to Seattle.

The Transportation Zone includes exhibits on air and land transportation, including the 999 Empire State Express steam locomotive, the first vehicle to exceed 100 mph. The Zone includes two World War II warplanes donated by the British government: a Ju 87 R-2/Trop. Stuka divebomber — one of only two intact Stukas left in the world — and a Supermarine Spitfire. The first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel train, the Pioneer Zephyr, is on permanent display in the Great Hall, renamed the Entry Hall in 2008. A free tour goes through it every 10–20 minutes. Several U.S. Navy warship models are on display, and a flight simulator for the new F-35 Lightning II is featured.

In keeping with Rosenwald's vision, many of the exhibits are interactive, ranging from Genetics: Decoding Life, which looks at how genetics affect human and animal development, to ToyMaker 3000, a working assembly line that lets visitors order a toy top and watch as it is made. The interactive Fab Lab MSI, is intended as an interactive lab where members can "build anything".

In March 2010, the museum opened Science Storms in the Allstate Court. This multilevel exhibit features a 40-foot (12 m) water vapor tornado, tsunami tank, Tesla coil, heliostat system, and a Wimshurst machine built by James Wimshurst in the late 19th century. All artifacts allow guests to explore the physics and chemistry of the natural world.

MSI's Henry Crown Space Center includes the Apollo 8 spacecraft, which flew the first mission beyond low earth orbit to the Moon, enabling its crew, Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders to become the first human beings to see the Earth as a whole, as well as becoming the first to view the Moon up close (as well as the first to view its farside at all). Other exhibits include an OmniMax theater, Scott Carpenter's Mercury Atlas 7 spacecraft, a Lunar Module trainer and a life-size mockup of a space shuttle.

The Museum is known for unique and quirky permanent exhibits, such as a walk-through model of the human heart. It was removed in 2008 for the construction of YOU! the Experience, which replaced it with a 13-foot-tall (4.0 m), interactive, 3D heart. Also well known are the Body Slices in the exhibit.

Other exhibits include Yesterday's Mainstreet; a mock-up of a Chicago street from the early 20th century, complete with a cobblestone road, old-fashioned light fixtures, fire hydrants, and several shops, including the precursors to several Chicago-based businesses. Included are:

  • Dr. John B. Murphy's office
  • Berghoff's restaurant
  • Jewel Tea Company grocery
  • Law office
  • Lytton's Clothing Store
  • Commonwealth Edison
  • Gossard Corset Shop
  • Chas. A. Stevens & Co. (Now Bankrupt)
  • Chicago Post Office
  • Walgreens Drug Company
  • The Nickelodeon Cinema
  • Finnigan's Ice Cream Parlor and Photo Studio

Unlike the other shops, Finnigan's Ice Cream Parlor and The Nickelodeon Cinema can be entered and are functional businesses. Finnigan's serves an assortment of ice cream and The Cinema plays short silent films throughout the day.

Changes have included, in 1993, the F-104 Starfighter on loan to MSI from the U.S. Air Force since 1978, was sent to the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. In March 1995, the Santa Fe Steam Locomotive 2903 was moved from outside the museum to the Illinois Railway Museum.

The museum holds the Junior Achievement's U.S. Business Hall of Fame.

Read more about this topic:  Museum Of Science And Industry (Chicago)

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