SPECIAL NOTE: The Power Machinery exhibition will be largely closed beginning October 16, 2015, in order to conduct renovations and conservation. The hall is expected to fully reopen in February 2016.
By the late 19th century, America's Industrial Revolution had a full head of steam. The Hall of Power Machinery holds examples of the machines that helped make the United States a world leader in industrial production. With models and machines—pumps, boilers, turbines, waterwheels, and engines—the hall follows the development of increasingly efficient power machinery.
The hall features:
- early developments in steam engines, illustrated with several models, including the first commercially useful steam engine, designed by Englishman Thomas Savery in 1712. Also on display is one of the oldest surviving relics of an American-built stationary steam engine, a Holloway 10-horsepower engine of 1819
- steam turbines, which replaced traditional steam engines, including a Curtis-General Electric steam turbine of 1927, cut away to reveal its blading
- internal combustion engines, from Nikolaus Otto and Eugen Langen's 1872 gas engine to examples of early engines based on the designs of German engineer Rudolph Diesel.