A fun and informative outing for families and history buffs alike, the Museum of History & Industry, or MOHAI, is the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington.
Located in Lake Union Park, MOHAI engages visitors of all ages through interactive exhibits, online resources, and award-winning public and youth education programs.
This Smithsonian affiliated facility offers an amazing collection of nearly four million artifacts, photographs, and archival materials that focus on the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region, and the nation. Highlights of the collection include Boeing’s first commercial plane, the 1919 Boeing B-1; the Petticoat Flag, an 1856 American Flag sewn by women during the Battle of Seattle; and the Rainier Brewing Company’s original 12-foot tall neon “R” sign.
A chronological history of Seattle and its environs, the permanent True Northwest: The Seattle Journey exhibit winds through a series of 22 different sections that each focus on a distinct event or era in Seattle history ranging from Native American and pre-Pioneer settlements up to the modern day.
Visitors to MOHAI will see only about 2% of the museum’s total 100,000 piece permanent collection at any given time; the remaining 98% is held in storage for research and study, future exhibits and preservation. This vast collection includes souvenirs from Seattle-area events, like the 1962 World’s Fair and the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) riots, as well as artifacts related to local business and industry. There are also locally designed and invented products, recreational equipment, maritime objects, paintings by local artists, clothing and textiles dating from the early 1800s to the present day, and everyday household items from the period of Washington settlement through the World Wars, and up to the present day.
On the top floor of the museum is a small gallery dedicated to Seattle’s maritime history. Originally designed to train naval recruits during WWII, a replica of a ship’s bridge overlooks the water and features a working WWII-era TANG periscope from a naval submarine that offers a 360-degree view of Lake Union and downtown Seattle.
In the Bezos Center for Innovation, visitors can explore how innovation shaped the region and changed the world. They can tackle a challenge in the Idea Lab, discover a Seattle-made invention in the Patent Tree, and check out cutting-edge concepts in What’s Next. This is where Seattle innovators share their latest projects and invite others to look in to the future as it unfolds.
Plan a Visit
MOHAI is the place to discover Seattle, to connect with the region and its rich history, and to explore your role in creating our future. The Seattle story is told through thousands of rare objects and historic images, and cutting edge hands-on interactive experiences for all ages that make history come alive with the unforgettable stories of the men and women who built Seattle from wilderness to world city. Whether a first time visitor, or a lifelong resident, MOHAI is the museum where you explore Seattle past and present.
Museum of History & Industry
860 Terry Avenue, North
Seattle, Washington 98109
By: Kelly Taggart
Photos: Allen Carrasco