Newcomen Library and Museum
412 Newcomen Road
Exton, PA 19341-1999
(610) 363-6600

Places Nearby:
Springton Manor
Great Valley Nature Center
Wharton Esherick Studio
More in:

Other States:


We're sorry to announce that the Newcomen Museum is permanently closed, with all the fascinating steam equipment having been auctioned off. Below is my description of the museum, so if you see something that you just have to have a look at, perhaps you can track it down. The above phone number belongs to the Newcomen Society.

Even when we think "nuclear," we have to think "steam." Nuclear energy, of course, produces heat and thus the steam which spins the turbines and gives us electricity. The ability to produce steam was known before the time of Christ. Only in the 18th century did man become able to harness the power of steam, and then the evolutionary development of the steam engine began.

The man was Thomas Newcomen, a Cornishman, who built the first commercially successful "fire engine" -- an atmospheric steam engine. He built it in 1712 to pump water from the deep tin and lead mines of southwest England. Newcomen's invention caught on, and his engines soon dotted the countryside of England and Europe.

This small museum features some very cool exhibits -- a collection of beautifully crafted electrically-operated scale models and actual steam engines of all types. Visitors can see an entire range of fascinating equipment and models, from a 1735 Newcomen pumping engine to the stationary, marine, locomotive, and automotive steam engines of the early 20th century, and other models in between.

The best part of these exhibits is that they actually work, and visitors are invited to operate them!

The Museum also honors the men who developed steam power over the years -- Watt, Trevithick, Stevenson, Evans and the rest, as well as Newcomen himself.

The Library contains some 2,700 volumes, all dealing with the history and application of steam power, and the people who pioneered it. This is an unrivalled research facility for this subject.

Tours are Self-Guided. Guided Tours are available for Groups of 8 or more, and can be led by a docent or with the aid of an audio cassette. The recommended minimum age is 7 years old. School Groups, though no specific program is available, will thoroughly enjoy a Guided Tour through this educational, hands-on museum.

Group Reservations:
Handicapped Access:

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.