Building Bridges at New Jersey’s Roebling Museum

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by
The Main Gate Building now houses the museum

The Main Gate Building now houses the museum

 

New Jersey’s Roebling Museum

If you’ve ever driven over the George Washington Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, or even the Riegelsville Bridge over the Delaware River, you can thank the engineering skills of the Roebling family. John A. Roebling, a Prussian civil engineer came to America and invented a wire rope that could advance bridge design.  He invented the cable and designed the bridges, as did his sons and beyond. The Roebling’s Sons Co. manufactured that wire rope for much of the 20th century in Burlington County, creating a large manufacturing production that inspired the “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” motto.

 

The Craneway

The Craneway

 

The factory stopped production in 1974, but today you can visit the Roebling Museum in the original Main Gate building.  The museum documents the history of the Roebling family and their innovations in the civil engineering field and more.

 

My family took a trip to the Roebling Museum on a recent Saturday, when they were hosting an event Kids Create:  Bridges and Machines.  We were busy from the moment we stepped inside this engineering museum, making catapults, building bridges, and learning about suspension.  There were staff members and volunteers throughout the rooms, ready to answer questions and engage us in lessons about the Roebling family.

 

Brooklyn Bridge model

Brooklyn Bridge model

roeblingmuseum6

 

What you’ll find at the Roebling Museum:

  • Examples of bridge building materials are throughout the museum. You can touch them but you likely can’t lift them! In an outside area there’s even a cross section of another famous Roebling project – the famed Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Outside you can find some really large artifacts in the millyard. You can’t miss the craneway and flywheel.
  • Not only did they create a large scale manufacturing plant, but the Roeblings built a village for their employees. The Roebling Museum features pictures and artifacts from the village, plus – it still stands! The museum offers a map of a 30 minute self guided walking tour, highlighting the historic buildings in the village.  
  • Bridge lovers will of course love the Roebling Museum, but it’s also a great place to explore New Jersey history, the story of the American Dream, and even women’s history (Emily Warren Roebling stepped up to take over as Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband suffered from caisson disease).

 

Artifacts from the town of Roebling

Artifacts from the town of Roebling

 

We found the Roebling Museum to be friendly, well laid out, and the perfect size for our children’s attention spans. We look forward to attending more events there – and are now on the lookout for more Roebling projects in our travels!

 

 

Roebling Museum location

The Roebling Museum is at 100 Second Avenue Roebling, NJ 08554 Phone: 609-499-7200. It is located on the RiverLine lightrail.

 

Roebling Museum Hours

The Roebling Museum is open Saturdays in March, and April through August will be open Wednesday-Sunday 11-4 PM.

 

 

Roebling Museum Admission

  • Admission cost is $6.00 Adults
  • $5.00 Seniors and Children 6-12
  • FREE for members and Children under 6.
  • Rates vary for special events.

 

In full disclosure this is not a sponsored post.

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