In 2001, the Canadian Museum of Making began acquiring machinery and tools that were built and used from 1750 to 1920 in Canada, Britain, and the United States. Our goal is to create and maintain an accurate source of information about machines and their history that is accessible to everybody, from academic researchers to people with a casual interest. We are a not-for-profit organization. The machines have been carefully preserved and restored to working order, and they are on display in the museum and can also be viewed in our virtual collections below.
You can read about the history of some of the pieces in the Museum, and the stories behind the creation of the Museum. The Story of Mary tells the story of how the Museum acquired "Mary," a 19th century tandem compound mill engine. A question about this project that people often think and sometimes ask is, why do this? See the response from the Museum's founder. Also see the story of the Horse-drawn fire engine, in photos.
In 1999, a collection of metalworking objects from Africa was acquired by the Museum, in order to continue to preserve the pieces. Since then, we have added many pieces and now have nearly several hundred artifacts in the museum. We have carefully documented and preserved the tools, and in doing so, we hope to tell a story about the person or people who created and used them.
The Museum maintains a small collection of vehicles these include: automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, steam tractors and horse drawn vehicles.
In 2006, the Museum began developing an indicators collection which now has more than 500 exhibits and is one of the most comprehensive collections of these devices ever assembled.
The most recent set of acquisitions is for the newly established oilfield collection that aims to preserve some of the machinery used in the early days of oil and gas development in Western North America.
The Museum also maintains a library, which can be searched online and a small collection of interesting vehicles, gas, steam and horse powered.