From European Groves to Your Skillet, 
Via Baltimore
Despite its Mediterranean name and origins, Pompeian has produced quality olive oils in Baltimore for more than a hundred years.  Founded in Lucca, Italy, in the late 1800s, the company opened a manufacturing center in Baltimore  in 1906 to satisfy America's growing appreciation for the flavor and versatility of olive oil.  Pompeian relocated production
Pompeian Logo.
entirely to Baltimore during the 1930s as warehouses closed in Europe in the lead-up to World War II.  In 1930, the entrepreneurial Hoffberger family-onetime owners of the Baltimore Orioles-purchased the company, helping to propel the Pompeian brand into a household name throughout the country. Since 2009, the Devico family of Morocco has owned the company.

The manufacturing center and corporate headquarters are still in the same location where it all began, on Pulaski Highway, and Pompeian is now the best-selling olive oil in the U.S. 

  Pompeian  staff on a tour with BMI teacher,  Del Riemer .
Last fall, members of the BMI were treated to a visit at the Pompeian plant for a tour and tasting as part of the museum's
members-only tour series . We were delighted to reciprocate and welcome Pompeian staff to the museum this past January. Their tour included a stop in the Corner Store exhibit, where Pompeian signs and bottles sit alongside other popular Maryland brands.  

Pompeian was a generous sponsor of this year's Bull & Oyster Roast, our annual fundraising event, which provides critical support for the museum's education programs, helping us serve some 30,000 schoolchildren each year. "As a member of the Baltimore community for over 100 years, Pompeian is proud to support the Baltimore Museum of Industry in exhibiting Charm City's rich history of innovation and industrialism," said Mouna Aissaoui, COO of Pompeian.     
Born in Baltimore, Raised Everywhere
Umbrella handles on display at the BMI.
What goes up when the rain comes down? Umbrellas, of course. March is National Umbrella Month and there's an abundance of local umbrella history to explore at the BMI. Beehler and Gans Brothers were the first umbrella makers, starting in the 1870s-1880s. After World War I umbrellas outstripped parasols in popularity and manufacturing in Baltimore boomed.

By 1927, there were 11 companies in the area, distinguishing Baltimore as the country's largest umbrella manufacturer. A 1953 issue of Baltimore Sun Magazine notes that the industry employed at least 450 people and produced more than 1,500,000 umbrellas a year.

Until 1920, all umbrellas were black because there were no dyes that would hold their color when wet. Polan Katz & Co. introduced the first vat-dyed colors for rain umbrellas. This was the first of their many innovations, including the famous "Touch 'n Go" style which allowed
Polan Katz and Co., 1947.
users to open the umbrella by pushing the end against any hard surface, and close it with a touch of the button. Many items from the BMI's large collection of Polan Katz & Co. umbrellas, handles, and archival material such as marketing items and photographs are currently on display. Additional information can be found in the museum's online database, or by making a research request with the archives department.
Last Chance to see REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate
Work on display in the REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate exhibition.

REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate, featuring the machined metal sculptures of this award-winning local artist, will close on Sunday March 11, after a successful year-long run at the BMI. The exhibition marked a departure for the museum, encouraging visitors to think about how machines can create beautiful artworks, rather than purely functional objects. Built from aluminum, bronze, and other metals, Bathgate's luminous and colorful works are named with combinations of letters and numbers that obscure the artist's intent so that visitors can form their own impressions of each piece.

The exhibition was popular among visitors, especially our youngest ones, who told us the sculptures reminded them of robots, Transformers, or aliens.

Chris is a self-taught artist from Baltimore, whose work can be found in private collections around the world. Be sure to visit REINVENTION by March 11.  The exhibition catalog will continue to be available in the museum shop.

REINVENTION was made possible with generous support from PNC, Direct Dimensions, and Comcast.
The BMI Celebrates its Newest Exhibition, Fueling the Automobile Age
We were delighted so many museum friends were able to join us at the opening of Fueling the Automobile Age for a sneak peak of the new exhibit.  Special thank you to Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, American Trading and Production Corporation, Lord Baltimore Capital, Clark Brands, LLC, McGuireWoods, LLP, and PNC Bank.

More photos from the opening can be found here!

VIP Reception and Preview held Feb. 22_ 2018

Upcoming Programs at the BMI

Photography Workshop  |  Hone your photography skills with volunteers from Creative Exposure Baltimore. Discuss the basics of composition as a group, then practice your technique around the museum campus. Bring your own camera and equipment. No advance registration required. All levels welcome.
WHEN  Sat, Mar 31 | 1 PM-3 PM
COST  Included with admission

Wee Workers graphic
Wee Workers | Preschoolers will love this program just for them. Explore the museum's galleries through stories, songs, crafts, and pint-size tours with a weekly theme.
WHEN  Tuesdays | 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
COST  Kids: Free; Adults: $5; BMI Members: Free. 
Advance registration suggested, contact  or 410.727.4808 x132
UPCOMING THEMES  MAR  6: CAN IT! |  MAR 13: The Pharmacy |    MAR 20: Planes | MAR  27: Safety Signs

Weekend Workers graphic
Weekend Workers | It's all about fun as you discover how things work. These engaging activities allow children of all ages to investigate the world around them. Weekly activities subject to change.
WHEN  Saturdays | 11 AM-2 PM unless noted
COST  Free with museum admission
UPCOMING THEMES  MAR 10: Engineering Paper Rockets | 
MAR 17: Weather in a Jar |  MAR 24: Chesapeake Bay Foundation oyster touch tank | MAR 31: Fruity Science
Baltimore Museum of Industry | |410.727.4808


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