The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) is a history museum in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. MOHAI is the largest private heritage museum in the state of Washington with over 4 million artifacts. A portion of this collection (roughly 2% at any given time) is on display in the museum's galleries. Highlights 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 that year and the Rainier Brewing Company's 12-foot tall neon "R" sign
In 1911, Morgan and Emily Carkeek hosted the first annual Founder's Day party at their home, which was an invitation-only event where guests dressed in historic costumes and brought artifacts and documents related to early Seattle. These parties led to the establishment of the Seattle Historical Society in 1914. The Seattle Historical Society lacked a building to house its museum. Several attempts to find a permanent location were abandoned due to financial difficulties, especially around the Depression, and the aging of their members. In 1945, Boeing offered $50,000 towards an aviation wing, and over the next 5 years, the Society successfully procured its former site in Montlake. This helped the museum open in 1952. Recently, MOHAI and the City of Seattle came to an agreement for MOHAI to move to the Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park. MOHAI did a full historic restoration of the facility, uncovering both the original ceiling and floor and conducting massive safety, accessibility, and systems upgrades. On December 29, 2012, the museum held a public grand opening for its new home in South Lake Union.
The museum features many galleries including "True Northwest: The Seattle Journey" which explores Seattle's history and the McCurdy Family Maritime Gallery which explores Seattle's maritime history. The Maritime Gallery features a working World War II-era periscope from a naval submarine with great views of Lake Union and Seattle. The museum also includes the Bezos Center of Innovation, named after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
In addition to both permanent and temporary exhibits, MOHAI administers ongoing youth and adult programming, and regularly hosts public events in partnership with other community organizations, particularly within the South Lake Union neighborhood.
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