The Untold Stories of "Workin It" in Baltimore

The BMI is delighted to host  Workin' It: Stories About Making a Living In Baltimore on Thursday, May 3, as part of the Stoop Storytelling Series. Since 2006, this Baltimore-based live show series has been spotlighting "ordinary" people telling extraordinary, true tales of their lives. Each storytelling event features stories exploring a different topic such as immigration, heartbreak, the holidays, bad hair days, and more. Stoop stories are not memorized in advance. Ideas are submitted to a panel for review, and chosen storytellers are provided coaching to help narrow the focus to a short tale, resulting in an evening that brings communities together in an intimate way, often through laughter and on occasion, tears.
The stories shared at the BMI will focus on an evening of true, personal tales about what we do to "get paid"-everything from crazy careers to dirty jobs to passion projects. It will be an unforgettable evening of storytelling by locals, for locals. "Work is a commonality-it's a tie that binds us together. Some people love their work, some don't. Some people are paid well, others are not. But work is a shared experience, and I think everyone will find familiarity in the stories you hear," says Auni Gelles, Community Programs Manager at the BMI.
The evening will include live music by Letitia VanSant, food trucks, and beer and wine for sale. And as always, free parking.
Seating is limited! Tickets are $25 non-members / $20 members at

Showing Baltimore Students the Light of STEM
BMI Educator, Mike Kuethe, discusses light devices with first graders for pilot program.
What do a lighthouse, a digital billboard, and a traffic light have in common? They utilize the power of light as a communication tool, which is the latest concept the BMI explored with Baltimore City Public School (BCPS) students last month during its new STEM pilot program for first graders.
The program is a joint initiative with BCPS and the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) , aimed at designing a community-based STEM experience that complements in-school curricula and field exploration. The long-term goal is to increase the number of participating schools and grade levels while also designing more opportunities for the students to learn from professionals in Baltimore's STEM sector.
When invited to be a collaborator on the first phase of the program, the BMI jumped at the opportunity to make an impact in the education of more BCPS students beyond the 30 city public schools it currently serves.
Staff and volunteers from the BMI's education department officially launched the program on March 15th with an all-day itinerary of investigative learning exercises, discussions, and design challenges that explored how light could be used to address unique communication issues. After learning about various contemporary and historic, light-based communication devices, the students were challenged to create their own light-boxes, which required the use of a flashlight to convey a message to their peers.
"We'll pilot this program with four city schools this spring, and hope to grow our partnership further with even more city schools in the next year . . . and more first grade groups looking for experiential STEM learning opportunities directly tied to their curriculum," says Jessica Celmer, the Education Coordinator at the BMI.
Mergenthaler's Linotype: "Eighth Wonder of the World"
Young visitors are given a demonstration of the 1936 Linotype by BMI volunteer, Ray Loomis.
Elegant in its design but vastly complicated in its mechanics, the Linotype machine was the greatest advance in typesetting since Johannes Gutenberg's moveable type printing press in the 15 th century. When German immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the Linotype in his Baltimore workshop in the 1880s, he launched a printing boom unmatched in history.

Before something can be printed, it must be composed: set into type and formed into a page. Since type was still set by hand-one painstaking letter at a time-the race was on to build a typesetting machine that would complete the mechanization of printing.

Many inventors tried, but they faced immense challenges: a successful machine had to accomplish numerous tasks. After years of experimentation, Mergenthaler found the way. When he installed the first Linotype machine at the New York Herald Tribune in 1886, a new era in printing was born.

Because one Linotype operator could do the work of six hand-setters, it initially threw thousands out of work. By greatly expanding the industry, it quickly created job gains in all facets of publishing, including at Baltimore-area newspapers where Linotype operator Ray  Loomis worked for more than 50 years. Now in his 80s, Ray is a long-time volunteer at the museum who delights visitors each Saturday with demonstrations of the Linotype in the printshop. He also appears in Linotype: The Film , a documentary about the machine that Thomas Edison once called "The Eighth Wonder of the World."

The feature-length film and live demonstrations of the museum's 1936 Linotype, shown on the left, will be presented on Saturday, April 7, 1:30-3:00pm. This program is included with museum admission and is free for BMI members.   In the case of inclement weather, please check the  website  or the  Facebook event  for updates before heading to the museum.

The Ray Loomis Linotype Fund has been created in honor of the veteran Linotype operator and beloved BMI volunteer. Your gift helps ensure that we can keep this remarkable machine in sound working order for years to come-and that Ray can continue to educate visitors as he demonstrates how the Linotype operates. Many thanks to the vanguard donors to the fund including: Frank Romano, Paul Foster (Printing and Graphics Association Mid-Atlantic), Bob and  Barbara Roswell, Marty Anson (Bindagraphics), Brian White (Creative Print Group) and Duke Zimmerman. Donate now.
Upcoming Programs at the BMI

Linotype: The Film  |  Watch a feature-length film about the revolutionary type casting machine invented in Baltimore and a live demonstration in the Print Shop gallery.
WHEN  Sat, Apr 7 | 1:30 PM-3 PM
COST  Included with admission

NOTE: In the case of inclement weather, please check the website or the Facebook event for updates before heading to the museum.

Engineering Industry: Robotics Demonstration  Get a close-up view of the cutting edge of robotics with researchers, students, and professional engineers during the Maryland Engineering Challenge "Robot" competition for high school students.
WHEN  Sun, Apr 15 | 12:30 PM-2 PM
COST  Free

Workin' It: Stories About Making a Living In Baltimore
Join the Stoop Storytelling Series and the Baltimore Museum of Industry for  a n evening of true, personal tales about what we do to "get paid"-everything from crazy careers to dirty jobs to passion projects.  Featuring live music by Letitia VanSant, food & drinks for sale, and gallery exploration. Attendees must be 21+.
WHEN  Thurs, May 3 | 7 PM-10 PM
COST   $25 non-members | $20 members | 
Advanced registration required | Register  online

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
APR 3 : Safety Signs |  APR 10: Tug Boats |  APR 17: Recycling & Earth Day | APR  24: Trains-FREE ADMISSION

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  APR 7: BMI scavenger hunt | 
APR 14: Baltimore Gas and Electric |  APR 21:  Northrop Grumman  |  APR 28:  Solar powered cars
Baltimore Museum of Industry | |410.727.4808


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