Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology


To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that keen on going into the steam museum. Although I knew it was something great that emerged from the Victorian era (my fave), I was really more enthusiastic about the aesthetic designs and art forms (furniture, clothing, literature, etc.) than that of the more practical kind.


But what a unique experience this was (especially if you have young kids or eager adult minds)! There was a demonstration going on, so just arrived at the right time. There was a family of 4 there with two young children (a boy and a girl, both of which were intelligent and well behaved asking all sort of questions) The guide was personable, and knowledgeable about the mechanics of steam in the technology of its day. 

James McFarlane
This 19th century public work architecture (pump house), looks somewhat like a church from the outside and was designed by Thomas Coltrin Keffer in the mid 1800s. Today it's still in its original form, as it has been perfectly preserved as a historical museum. The two 45 foot high, 70 ton steam engines once pumped the first clean water to the city of Hamilton almost 140 years ago. The engines are oiled every day and there are demonstrations as well daily. 

I have to say that it was really something to see once everything gets going. The sounds of the slow revolutions of the engines and the sights of the huge iron die cast bolts and giant pistons and wheels looming overhead to the very last brick laid which surrounded you. Picture in your mind's eye, how they dragged these huge multi-ton iron and steel parts over the frozen lake in the winter pulled by horses in the freezing cold...everything ...built by hand. We are so fortunate to be born in this time.
You can almost imagine James McFarlane walking up and down the centre hallway upstairs, monitoring every movement, watching every gauge and logging the steam pressure, revolutions and temperatures every hour on the hour for over 51 years. James retired well into his 80's and emigrated to Hamilton from Scotland and became the Chief Engineer of the Public Works department from 1859-1910.
Non Paying Customers
Since the this is the only remaining example of its type in North America, it's worth a visit once in your lifetime..you might see some unexpected visitors onsite too though they neglected to pay their admission :)
Located at 900 Woodward Avenue in Hamilton.