Agricultural & Industrial Museum of York County
217 West Princess St.
York, PA 17403
(717) 848-1587

Places Nearby:
Weight Lifting Hall of Fame
York County Fire Museum
York County Historical Society
Indian Steps Museum
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Actually two separate museums, the Agricultural & Industrial Museum features dozens of fascinating exhibits that illustrate their subjects' role in the growth of York County and the nation.

Agricultural Museum

Befitting its name and purpose, this museum is housed in the Old Eastern Market building. Built in 1889, it operated as a farmer's market until 1947, when Sears and Roebuck turned it into a farm equipment warehouse. Today the Museum features some 20 unique exhibits in a 13,000 square foot display area.

  • Banking Artifacts, including a four-ton safe, show banking's history in York.
  • Potato Farming Showcases various implements, including a seed potato cutter, furrow plow, hiller, and Farquhar potato plows.
  • Shingle Mill This gas-driven mill was brought by wagon to a building site.
  • Plowing and Cultivating This exhibit displays several generations of horse-drawn plows and cultivators, as well as photographs of more modern machinery.
  • Machine Shop A variety of shop equipment is demonstrated. Displays include tire rolls, tool chest, hardness tester, and other items.
  • A.B. Farquhar Major equipment manufacturers are represented by steam powered units, a gasoline engine, sprayer, corn planter, and other machines.
  • Cigar Manufacture At the turn of the century there were 500 cigar manufacturers in York. Now there are two. Exhibit demonstrates cigar making.
  • Transportation Displays include a 1920 Buick (with only 5,422 original miles) and a 1926 GMC moving truck.
  • York Automobiles There were sixteen manufacturers in York in the early 1900's. Four cars on display here, including a 1906 Mayflower Huckster a 1919 Ford Model T, a 1909 Pullman touring car, and a 1916 Pullman Junior.

Other exhibits cover various aspects of farming and marketing and feature real items -- wagons, equipment, vehicles and so forth. These are not models. Pretty neat.As well as the exhibit area, the Museum includes a Gift Shop, a Meeting Room which can be rented, and two Children's Areas -- a play area and a garden.

Industrial Museum

A little more than a mile away, the Industrial Museum is a growing, multi-building complex featuring hands-on exhibits of industrial artifacts dating from the early 19th century to the present.

  • Physical Fitness Showcases Hoffman's weight-lifting empire.
  • Pottery Illustrates the tools and methods of this craft.
  • Locomotive Full-size 1892 model of Phineas Davis' coal-fired 1831 locomotive.
  • Wire Cloth Exhibits a working loom and history of wire cloth manufacturing.
  • Casket Manufacturing Shows the many steps in creating a fine casket.
  • Wall Covering Features a six-color press used to make wall paper.
  • Machine Shop Displays a variety of lathes and other tools, from foot power to motorized.
  • Railroad A growing exhibit that currently features a one-man inspection car.
  • Defense shows a self-propelled Howitzer and military photos.
  • Gristmill A reconstructed operating mill. Also a growing exhibit that will occupy three floors when done.
  • Music Pianos and organs made in York provide an audio exhibit.
  • Auto Body Manufacturing A Dodge truck chassis and motor with its York Hoover body.
  • Innovative Technology Examples of wind, sea, and solar power are demonstrated.
  • Printing Various types of type are shown, and the evolution of printing is represented, from the hand press to the computer.
  • Telephone Hands-on exhibit shows how the phone works.

Several other exhibits are available. This museum also includes a Gift Shop, a large Atrium and Lobby for private events, and an old-fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.Both of these museums offer the opportunity to see and sometimes handle the "real thing." A visit is exciting and a family or group could easily spend hours exploring all the neat things of yesteryear. Tours are Self-Guided. Guided Tours can be arranged for Groups.

The Museums offer a fine series of Family Programs called "Lunch and Learn". Programs relate to the seasons and, whether the subject is planting, harvesting, turkeys, the wind (in March), or whatever, the Program or Workshop offers plenty of hands-on activities that get kids, 3 - 11 years old, involved in learning. Programs last four hours. Call for the current schedule.

School Groups have a wonderful opportunity to enhance the teaching of many subjects with a first hand look at the past. Thematic Tours are available at either or both Museums for Pre-K through Intermediate grades, each focusing on an aspect of agriculture or industry.Here are some Thematic Tours at the Agriculture Museum. It all Starts With a Seed explores planting and farm implements. All Wheels Lead To . . . examines the various forms of transportation at the Museum. Artifact Detectives has students solve a mystery by identifying Museum artifacts. What Was it Like Then? explores childhood in the past. Others are available.At the Industrial Museum: Make it Simple investigates the Museum's simple machines. Printing Power lets students try simple printing techniques. Work! Work! Work! investigates the different forms of power in York County. Other Tours are available. Thematic Tours take 90 minutes.

Hours: Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm. Closed on major holidays. Call to confirm before visiting.
One Day Pass
Adults $15.00
Students (6-18) $7.00
Children 5 and under FREE
Library only $8.00/person
Off season prices may be different. Call for details.
Note: price includes admission to ALL York County Heritage Trust sites: Agricultural & Inudstrial Museum, Bonham House, Colonial Complex, Fire Museum, and Historical Society Museum. See official website, linked above, for further details.
Two Sites: $6.00/person
Three sites: $7.00/person.
Reservations: At least 8 weeks in advance for school group programs, 2 weeks for family programs.
Lunch: Room available for bagged lunch. Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible. Call for details.
Directions: Rt. 30 to Rt. 462 West (just outside of Lancaster). 462 to York (becomes East Market St.). Turn left (south) onto Queen St. (Rt. 74 South). Go 4 blocks and turn right onto Princess St. About 7 blocks to Museum #217. 90 - 120 minutes west of Philadelphia.

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