Making it Move: Steam, Gravity & Electricity Display Opens at WaterWorks Museum

July 09, 2015

How do you move millions of gallons of water?  Power. The WaterWorks Museum at Louisville Water Tower Park presents Making it Move as part of "Out of the Archives,” a periodic series of special displays that share Louisville Water's extensive collection of photographs, films, artifacts and architectural drawings, all selected around a central theme. Wednesday, October 8th marks the opening for “Making It Move: Steam, Gravity & Electricity," a display of photos, film and facts highlighting Louisville Water's history of power, especially steam, to move water from river to faucet. The display is a compliment to the Belle of Louisville's centennial anniversary since the vessel is still powered by steam today. In 1860, Louisville Water did something that revolutionized water service for the community– it used steam to fuel giant pumping engines to push water from the Ohio River as the first step in delivering drinking water.  Louisville Water’s archives include dozens of photographs, stories and film of the steam engines working.  The Making it Move display, located in the Grand Hall at the WaterWorks Museum, will display these archival materials plus coal samples, a 1920 wheel barrow, Engine Indicator, Dead Weight Gauge Tester, Electric Bills [from 1900, 1901 and 1945], Coal Expenses and Coal Contract. Although electricity and gravity provide the power today, Louisville Water still has one of its steam engines, a 1919 Allis Chalmers.  A guided tour of the engine is included in a visit to the WaterWorks Museum. Making It Move opens October 8th and will run through November 26th. Admission to the WaterWorks Museum ranges from $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for youth. Children under five are free.  The museum offers discounts for families and those with a military and student ID.  The WaterWorks Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 10am -5pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 3pm. Future “Out of the Archives” exhibits will feature engineering, architectural, technological and health advances made through the quest to supply the community with a safe and high quality water supply. The WaterWorks Museum opened in February and is located in the west wing of Louisville Water’s Original Pumping Station at 3005 River Road in Louisville, KY. The Museum highlights Louisville Water’s considerable archive of historic photographs, some dating back to 1860, films and memorabilia, and allows visitors to discover the company’s contributions to safe drinking water through its innovations in science and engineering Development of the WaterWorks Museum is part of Louisville Water’s extensive education programming which reaches over 50,000 people annually with programming that extends into classrooms throughout the region as well as through tours of Louisville Water facilities by collaborations with schools, community organizations and cultural attractions. To view photos and stories related to the exhibit go to LOUISVILLE WATER’S ORIGINAL PUMPING STATION & WATER TOWER Louisville Water’s original Pumping Station and Water Tower have stood on the banks of the Ohio River for 150 years, serving as a visual landmark for the city of Louisville and the water utility that bears its name.  Designed by Theodore Scowden and his assistant Charles Hermany, the Pumping Station housed the Cornish steam engines that were part of the water company’s operations when it began in October, 1860.  Scowden designed the station in Classical Revival to resemble a two-story temple with wings on either side. In 1971, the U.S. Government designated the Pumping Station and Water Tower National Historic Landmarks.  The Secretary of the Interior at the time called the tower “one of the finest examples of industrial architecture in the world.  

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