Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

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Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

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. Exhibits include the interactive "City Stories: An Introduction to Philadelphia" which explores the city's history from the 1680s to today; "Made in Philadelphia," which has hanging displays on different industries; and "The Ordinary, The Extraordinary and the Unknown: The Power of Objects." 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, and boxing gloves worn by former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.


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