Atwater-Kent Municipal Museum

From Academic Kids

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AtwaterKentFront.jpg
The entrance to the Atwater-Kent Museum

The Atwater-Kent Municipal Museum (also known as the Atwater Kent Philadelphia History Museum) was started in 1938 by A. Atwater Kent. The museum was originally the home of the Franklin Institute, founded by Samuel Merick. Kent (pioneering radio manufacturer), at the suggestion of John Wanamaker, bought the building to create a museum of the history of the city, saving the building from being dismantled and moved to Grosse Point by Henry Ford. The process of collecting Philadelphia related memorabilia started by going to all the auctions of the time and purchasing famous prints, furniture, artifacts, paintings, toys and other objects that were typically enjoyed by Philadelphians. The museum now has in its possession an estimated 10,000 additional collectibles from the Historical Society of Philadelphia.

Notable facts

  • An exhibit of Norman Rockwell's art is now on display at the Atwater Kent having been brought over from the now-closed Norman Rockwell museum.
  • It was the site of the nation's first weather bureau.
  • The building was designed by John Haviland and loosely based on the design of the Greek Monument of Thrasyllus.
  • William Strickland and Thomas U. Walter taught the first architecture courses in the United States in this building.

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