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October 22, 2009

B & O Railroad Museum celebrates 10th Anniversary as Smithsonian Affiliate

Filed under: enewsletter feature,General,You Heard It Here First — Tags: , , — Elizabeth Bugbee @ 6:42 pm

The B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, Maryland) celebrated the 10th anniversary of their association with the Smithsonian on October 15, 2009.  The B&O was both the first museum in Maryland and the first railroad history museum to formally affiliate with the Smithsonian when it joined the program on April 16, 1999.

Director Courtney Wilson and Affiliations staff Jennifer Brundage in front of the fireless locomotive.

Director Courtney Wilson and Affiliations staff member Jennifer Brundage in front of the fireless locomotive.

A look back at the collaboration between the Smithsonian and the B&O shows that they have been an exceptional Affiliate from the beginning, taking full advantage of sharing the Smithsonian’s resources. Shortly after they became an Affiliate, the B & O secured the loan of the Stourbridge Lion, the first locomotive to operate in the United States or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

Not long after, they became the new home of over 50 locomotive and railroad car models documenting significant advancements in railroad technology.  Originally housed in the Smithsonian’s Railroad Hall at the National Museum of American History [NMAH], these artifacts are considered by many to be the finest examples of railroad scale models ever produced.

Most recently, during the 10th anniversary celebration, the 1938 PEPCO fireless locomotive was unveiled. The locomotive was recently donated to the B&O from NMAH and will be on public display at B&O for the first time in 30 years.

While the B&O has been successful in securing many exceptional Smithsonian loans, their partnership has never been limited to loans alone.  Over the years, the B&O has been a consistent participant in Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day, opening their doors to visitors for free. They share information about their tours and teacher programs with over 2500 local teachers every year at Smithsonian Teacher’s Night.

They’ve even been a frontrunner in securing advertorial space in Smithsonian Magazine to highlight their restoration projects. They are also the first Affiliate to consult with the Smithsonian’s experts on early childhood education to carve out education spaces in the galleries for the B&O’s youngest visitors.

We are extremely proud and excited to have the B&O Railroad museum as one of our outstanding Affiliates.  Congratulations to the B&O and we look forward to many more years of successful collaborations!

In 2010, almost 30 Affiliates will be celebrating their 10th anniversaries as a partner of the Smithsonian.  Is your organization one of them?  If so, drop us a line at affiliates@si.edu so we can start planning your celebration!

 

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