For Life Long Learners

Eli Whitney Museum

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The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop functions more like a busy factory than a conventional museum: teams of high-school aged apprentices prepare the kits we use for teaching school groups, an 8 year old's birthday party assembles X-Wing Fighters, and grandparents and grandchildren put together toy trains. In this way, we collect, interpret, and preserve the experiments that are the roots of design and invention. But it is not a quiet, contemplative, "museum" atmosphere.

However, there are things to see and do for visitors who aren't traveling with children. The Museum is located on the banks of the Mill River, where Eli Whitney sparked the industrial revolution in America, and his lasting imprint is visible on our historic site.

A Historic Site

Gun Factory on canvas.png

Factories are places of change. At least 18 buildings have come and gone since Eli Whitney's time. We are still digging into that history.

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Eli Whitney


On September 17th 1798, Eli Whitney purchased the land around the museum. He came here to build a factory.

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The Gilbert Project

Gilbert Portrait Illustration

For 50 years, Alfred Carlton Gilbert put his signature on toys for children. He built a world of learning tools that were unified by a distinct, personal vision. No toymaker's name in history is better known.

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The Leonardo Challenge


Leonardo da Vinci demonstrated the origins of invention in the playful application of his imagination. The annual Leonardo Challenge engages artisans and artists in crafting stunning works of improvisational creativity.

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