It's a (working) dog's life
Valor Service Dogs
Learn more about Valor Service Dogs at BMI's Working Animals program Sept 24

On Sunday, September 24, meet animals and their handlers working to bring comfort and protect public safety at hospitals, airports, courthouses, and on the streets. The BMI celebrates all workers, even the canine kind, and BMI is proud to partner with several groups specializing in training four-legged partners. Currently confirmed to participate are Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S. Search and Rescue (meet volunteer Lindy and K-9 Inji), Baltimore City Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit (represented by K-9 Sergeant Edwin Santiago), Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Maryland chapter (featuring volunteer Gemma and her puppy-in-training), and Valor Service Dogs.

Florida-based Valor Service Dogs is a nonprofit whose mission is to help post-9/11 wounded veterans regain their independence, return to civilian life, and maintain successful partnerships through the training and placing of mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs. Valor provides service dogs at no cost to eligible veterans nationwide.  During the two-year training, Valor pups learn approximately 80 commands including opening and closing doors, picking up dropped items, recognizing and interrupting signals of stress and anxiety associated with PTSD, and more. Pups are raised by "puppy coaches" who bring them to weekly training classes. Executive director Carol Lansford will bring one-year-old golden retriever Huey, currently being trained in mobility assistance for a combat veteran who uses a wheelchair. Huey will be joined by veteran and Valor director Justin Lansford who will discuss common challenges for mobility impaired individuals and how animals like Huey can help.

In addition to its core mission of supporting wounded veterans, Valor also works to educate the public about service animals through presentations and meetups such as BMI's Working Animals program. Carol said of their education initiatives, "Our main goal is to help the general public and business owners understand the laws that allow service animals to be active members of society." Through education, Valor empowers communities to help service dogs support their handlers' needs.

Join us under the outdoor pavilion on Sunday, September 24 from 2pm to 3:30pm for this free event! Please note, for the safety of all participants, please leave pets at home. 

Support for Working Animals was generously provided by The Tulkoff Family with planning assistance provided by Phil Tulkoff, who serves on the Valor Service Dogs' board of directors.
Spotlight on the Garment Loft
Ed Hawkins in Garment Loft
Senior museum educator Ed Hawkins in the Garment Loft

September is National Sewing Month and to celebrate we invited BMI educator Ed Hawkins to share his unique perspective on the museum's Garment Loft, a permanent exhibit that tells the story of Baltimore's historic garment industry. Baltimore's commercial garment manufacturing began in the 1700s in response to demand for uniforms from visiting sailors, and later expanded to larger factories and sweatshops where work conditions were often harsh. From 1870 to 1940, the garment industry employed 25% of Baltimore's workforce ---- the largest proportion employed by any one industry. After World War II, production in Baltimore declined as other countries began producing similar products at cheaper prices.
BMI Garment Loft
Photo by Brian Kutner
From spreading fabric to cutting, pressing, and sewing, the jobs of the garment loft were often repetitive and tedious. Ed experienced this labor-intensive industry firsthand when, in the 1940s at the age of 16, he joined his father at Morris Company, a manufacturer of nurses' uniforms. Ed's father spent 50 years as a cutter, a highly skilled job that required following a pattern with a vertical shear----a machine capable of cutting through up to 80 layers of fabric. The cutter's job was risky in other ways too; it was easy to make a mistake and ruin the fabric.

Ed's job on the other hand was more routine ---- with boredom being the more ominous occupational hazard. As a spreader, Ed was responsible for spreading layers of fabric over a 90-foot table, back ... and forth repeatedly. Ed was required to count each layer, though he frequently lost count until a thumb wheel innovation that worked like a clicker helped solve the counting problems. Ed recalled it would take him approximately 3 hours to spread 80 layers.
Ed explained that designers were the most skilled and highly paid workers; next were the pattern makers and then the cutters. Cutters, Ed recalled, were all men while sewers were typically women. African-American workers in the garment industry experienced segregation and inequality across roles, factories, work areas, and pay.
Today, Ed leads school groups and public tours through the Garment Loft exhibit, sharing Baltimore's garment manufacturing story and drawing from his personal experience as a spreader. "I hated that job," Ed often says. But when asked what it means to share the Garment Loft with students, Ed answered: "It gives me a chance to let kids know how people worked back then."

You can help support our educational programs by donating to our annual fund today!
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Game on!
Video game exhibit
Create your own video game at Video Game Wizards. Photo provided by Luci Creative

September 12 was national video games day and what better way to celebrate than by creating your very own video game at the BMI's Video Game Wizards - Transforming Science and Art into Games. 

This hands-on exhibition opened nearly three years ago and remains among the most popular for visiting families, providing an interactive environment where kids explore how their talents, skills and passions could lead to a career in the interactive entertainment industry. The exhibit's six stations provide an opportunity to meet the game makers and learn about their various roles, while making and customizing their own game using the skills demonstrated at each station.
Video Game Wizards
Photo by Luci Creative
One of the primary goals of the exhibit is to convey to children the importance of learning the skills ----in science, technology, engineering, art and math ----needed to be part of the video game industry, and many other professional fields. "This experience will inspire students to someday become creative problem solvers, to take those skills into video game development or any other career of their dreams," says Sid Meier, co-founder and Director of Creative Development at Firaxis Games based in Sparks, Maryland and the visionary behind this exhibition. 
The Maryland video game industry began in 1982 when business entrepreneur, John W. (Bill) Stealey and Meier teamed up and started the Hunt Valley based company, MicroProse. This exhibition recognizes more than 30 years of Maryland's robust video game industry.
The Video Game Wizards - Transforming Science and Art into Games exhibit, was developed by the Baltimore Video Game Wizards, a non-profit organization funded by veteran video game developers in Maryland; Luci Creative and Ravenswood Studio; Silver Oaks Communications; Cerebral Lounge/Clean Cuts Music; in partnership with the Baltimore Museum of Industry. A start-up grant was provided by the Maryland Film Office/Maryland Department of Economic Development. 

The exhibit will run through 2019.
Upcoming Programs at the BMI

Valor Service dog
Working Animals
Meet animals (and their handlers) who work to bring comfort and protect public safety at hospitals, airports, courthouses, and on the streets.
WHEN  Sun, Sept 24 / 2pm-3:30pm
COST  Free outdoor event

Baltimore Museum of Industry
Neighborhood Night
South Baltimore residents are invited to an after-hours open house and tour of the galleries. Enjoy free admission, family-friendly activities, and light refreshments.
WHEN  Weds, Sept 27 / 4pm-7pm
COST  Free

Homeschool Days
The BMI is pleased to offer special days for homeschool families to experience the BMI, including three days offered in partnership with The Walters Art Museum. To learn more about Homeschool Days at the BMI, please click here.

Issues in Industry: Midday Live
 Sit in on a live broadcast of WYPR's Midday with Tom Hall as panelists discuss deindustrialization and the future of manufacturing.
WHEN  Tues, Oct 10 / 12pm-1pm 
COST  Free / Advance registration required / Register online

Pompeian Member Tour  
Join the BMI for a behind-the-scenes tour of Pompeian's olive oil production. Pompeian established a headquarters in Baltimore in 1906, and in the late 1920's, moved production from Lucca, Italy to the Baltimore location where it still exists today.
WHEN  Thurs, Oct 12 / 10:30am-12:30pm (Arrive by 10:15 at Mark Supik & Co. Woodturning to park)
COST  Free / Current BMI Members only / Pre-registration required (by September 28) / Email Kelley Edelmann at
LOCATION  4201 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224
PARK AT  Mark Supik & Co. Woodturning, 1 N Haven St #2, Baltimore, MD 21224

Issues in Industry: The Gig Economy  
Join Parking Panda founder Nick Miller and fashion designer Keisha Ransome for a roundtable discussion on the issues and opportunities created through the "gig economy."
WHEN  Thurs, Oct 12 / 7pm-8:30pm
COST  Free

Children_s Business Fair
Free Fall Baltimore at the BMI
 The BMI will host the Baltimore Children's Business Fair (1pm-4pm), showcasing the entrepreneurial genius of kids ages 6-14, during an open house as part of Free Fall Baltimore ----the citywide celebration of arts and culture.
WHEN  Sun, Oct 15 / 10am-4pm
COST  Free

Mill building
The Industrial Valley: Two Centuries of Manufacturing Along the Jones Falls  
Nathan Dennies of the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance will discuss the grist mills of the late 18th century, textile mills in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the lighter manufacturers that took their place.
WHEN  Sun, Oct 22 / 2pm-3:30pm
COST  Included with admission

Aerial photo of the BMI
Doors Open Baltimore at the BMI   Learn how to read a historic building with architect Tom Liebel, using the museum campus as a case study. Discover the architecture of the BMI, including the Platt oyster cannery (1865), Knabe Cupola (1869), Hercules Shipbuilding Co. building (1941), "Whirley" Crane (1942), and 16,000 sq. ft. pre-fabricated Butler building (1967).
WHEN  Sat, Oct 28 / 10:30am program / 10am-4pm open house
COST  Free
Baltimore Museum of Industry | |410.727.4808


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