Massachusetts

Exhibits exploring an essential but usually unheralded aspect of the infrastructure of civilized living.

American Seafood occupies 13 acres in New Bedford’s North Terminal, consisting of a scallop processing plant, a cold storage and distribution warehouse, and a “value-added” seafood factory, where they batter, bread, pre-cook, coat, glaze, and marinate...

This 44,000 square-foot underground bunker, is secreted within Bare Mountain, in the rolling hills next to Hampshire College. It was built in 1957 as a backup command and control center by the Strategic Air Command (SAC), which operated a bomber base nearby...

From 1828-1848, the Blackstone Canal linked central Massachusetts to the ocean via Providence, Rhode Island, stimulating industrial growth along its path. The river and canal system are now being converted into something called the Blackstone River Valley...

In 1971, the Boston Gas Company commissioned the artist (and nun) Corita Kent to turn what many considered to be an industrial eyesore into a popular landmark. What is now called "the world's largest copyrighted artwork," is actually a reproduction, as the...

This coal-fired plant on the southern coast of Massachusetts, near Fall River, was once the largest fossil fuel power plant in New England. Coal was delivered by ship and barge from coal mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, and from as far away as South America...

Building 20 was the principal building of the secret Radiation Laboratory (Rad Lab), the MIT-based wartime radar research effort which employed almost 4,000 people and occupied 15 acres of floor space in Cambridge, at the peak of its five year existence....

At 17.4 miles long and 480 feet wide, the Cape Cod Canal is currently the widest sea-level canal in the world. Construction started in 1909, and finished in 1914, and its width was almost doubled in the 1930's. The Canal transformed Cape Cod from a peninsula...

The town of Chatham has transformed its coastal perimeter to defend against the erosion resulting from a 1987 storm, when the natural sand spit protecting Chatham from the waves, tides, and littoral drift of the Atlantic was suddenly and permanently breached...

The complex of two paper mills and related offices around Dalton, Massachusetts, which comprise Crane & Company, constitute the sole source of paper for U.S. currency. Crane has been making durable paper out of cotton fiber at this location for almost 200...

The Deer Island waste treatment plant processes Boston's sewage and is the second largest sewage treatment plant in the country (Chicago's is larger). The plant is capable of handling more than a billion gallons of wastewater per day, ejecting treated...

The old Assabet Woolen Company mill complex in downtown Maynard, became the home of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1957, after Ken Olsen and his new business partners quit MIT's Lincoln Lab, to pursue a groundbreaking idea for low-cost minicomputers....

Draper Lab is a private, nonprofit R&D lab, spun out of MIT's Instrumentation Lab in 1973 - amid protests from students about the school's deep involvement in military work. The Instrumentation Lab employed as many as 2,000 people at its peak, developing...

The port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, famous as a historic whaling port,  is often ranked as the biggest fishing port in the lower 48 states, measured in the dollar value of its landed catch, which is usually somewhere around $300 million per year....

Until its closure in December of 2014, sirens such as this one, were used in three Massachusetts communities near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in southern Vermont. In the event of an accident at the plant, the siren would emit a steady three to five...

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's regional operations center for New England is housed in this underground bunker in Maynard. Built in the 1950's, when the agency was more concerned about nuclear attacks than it is now, the bunker has an operations...

The Fisher Museum was built initially to contain 23 dioramas of New England forests. The precise three-dimensional dioramas depict examples of New England forest conditions and transformations of the local landscape. They were designed by R. T. Fisher, the...

The Fore River Shipyard, south of Boston, is a major shipyard that has been relatively inactive for the past couple of decades, but is one of the last remaining heavy industry sites in the State. During World War II it was one of several yards around Boston...

For many years, an office on the third floor of this building in Wellesley was the official headquarters for a remarkable engineering company known as EG&G. Founded in 1931 by Doc Edgerton, the MIT professor famous for his strobe photography, and two...

Though officially decommissioned in 1996, Fort Devens still has a large military presence, as well as a legacy of clean-up issues on the property slated for redevelopment, as the base contains several Superfund sites, as well as Areas Requiring Environmental...

GE's Plastics Concept House (aka Living Environments House) opened in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1989 to showcase possible uses of plastic in residential buildings. Featured in this model suburban home were futuristic components such as a centralized...

Gorton’s, in Gloucester, Massachusetts is the largest national brand of frozen fish, and a major provider of breaded whitefish to supermarkets and restaurants, including McDonald’s. Gorton’s is believed to be the inventor of frozen fishsticks, part of the...

Located on the high-technology region of the Route 128 beltway, northwest of Boston, Hanscom is said to be the fourth largest corporate entity in Massachusetts, and is one of the Air Force's primary research and development centers for surveillance and...

One of the larger "waste-to-energy" plants in the country, this one handles 1,650 tons per day; can generate up to 49 megawatts; and has been in operation since 1989. Operated by the Covanta Corporation, which operates over 25 waste-to-energy plants, more...

The Haystack Observatory is located in a complex of radio antennas in the hills above Westford and Tyngsboro. Inside the facility's dome is a 121-foot-diameter steerable radio dish, which while designed by MIT's Lincoln Lab, was built by the U.S. Air Force....

This now abandoned 991-acre industrial complex was used for munitions storage and weapons assembly during World War II, and into the 1950's. Missile components and rocket fuels were tested here as well. In the production buildings, heavy walls of cement...

This rail tunnel through the Berkshires, completed in 1875, connected eastern Massachusetts to the industrial and transportation centers in upstate New York and the Great Lakes. At the time of its completion, it was the longest tunnel in North America at 4.75...

The John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant (CWTP), has been in operation since 2005, and is one link among many in the chain of facilities comprising Boston’s water supply. It is connected to the newer MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel, and the older Hultman...

This 553-acre train yard used to be the Boston and Maine Railroad's largest maintenance yard, back when B&M was the biggest railroad company in the state. Steam locomotives, diesels, and passenger cars were all maintained at this site over the years. It...

An operations room in this building near Holyoke controls the flow of electricity throughout New England. Inside the room, usually fewer than eight people work at control stations, under a big illuminated board that indicates the status of over 300 power...