Permanent Exhibits

Untitled-1In keeping with our mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of America’s past … through exhibition and demonstration of the trades and crafts practiced in New Jersey from its earliest settlement we have a number of permanent exhibits on both levels of the Museum.

On the main level, examine our exhibit featuring the activities of New Jersey farming families. Here you can encounter the diverse facets of agricultural life in the early 1800s.

You will also see a selection from our extensive collection of woodworker’s planes, and learn more about these indispensible hand tools.

PressOn the lower level, learn how tradesmen in small towns worked together to develop a bustling economy.

These exhibits illustrate the working lives of four circa 1850 local tradesmen whose surnames are still familiar in Madison. Explore the tools that

  • a distiller,
  • a cooper,
  • a shoemaker, and
  • a cabinetmaker

…would have used to craft their wares.

In December of 2002 we opened our new permanent exhibit, The Essential Trade: Blacksmithing in America. It explores the important work of blacksmiths in American history, and traces the history and processes of blacksmithing from its origins about 3000 years ago. Housed in an alcove at the foot of the circular staircase in the clock tower, Blacksmithing contains an interactive, audio component – a first for METC.

And please explore our home, the century-old James Library building. This fine example of Richardsonian Romanesque Revival architecture could qualify as a museum artifact in its own right.

In addition to these permanent exhibits, we also mount Current Exhibits approximately twice a year.

Check out our Virtual Museum

Explore the history behind the tools