19th century techies
The steam engines before us are quite impressive, at 70 tons each and 45 feet high. We're actually too close to see them in one shot as we look at them from the mezzanine. Canadian made, they're the oldest surviving examples in the nation and we can see them in operation under our noses. Our guide took great pains to explain the "beauty" of the technology involved, by means of an interactive display perfectly adapted for children. During our tour, which lasted 40 minutes, kids were allowed to use a lever to make the huge wheel turn under the pressure of the steam. We could also admire a model of the pump house in a large barn-like display room filled with charts explaining the system. Each of the 12,000 parts of this functioning model were hand-made by a Hamilton resident in the 80's.