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Great Museums Created for Roofers, Carpenters, Architects, and Builders

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Old fashioned tools, techniques, materials, and construction machinery

Just about every craftsman gets excited about old carpentry and construction tools and machines. Picking up an old wooden block plane takes one back to a simpler time, before the conveniences of cordless power tools, drones, and fancy measurement and estimating apps.

Imagine a time when roofing materials couldn’t be drop-shipped to a job location by a same-day delivery truck, but rather had to be transported by horse-drawn cart over many miles. Think what it would be like to install an 80 SQ cedar shake roof without a nail gun

If you like the tools and machinery of construction and want to see vast collections of vintage work tools and devices, check out these museums of renown.

National Building Museum - Washington D.C.

Since it was created in 1980, the National Building Museum has transformed the public’s understanding of the impact of architecture, engineering, roofing, construction, planning, and design. Exhibitions celebrate the “built world” and its power to shape our communities and our future. The historic building housing the museum’s collection was the Pension Bureau built in the 1880s. After falling into disrepair, this Italian Renaissance-inspired building was saved from the wrecking ball when, in 1967, architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith proposed that it be converted into a museum dedicated to the building arts.

Website: https://www.nbm.org/about/

famous building museums washington dc
The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Musée des Arts et Métiers - Paris, France

The Musée des Arts et Métiers (French for Museum of Arts and Crafts) is an industrial design museum in Paris. Since its opening in 1794, the museum has grown to house over 80,000 objects including the original model of the Statue of Liberty and the first mechanical calculator – Blaise Pascal’s Pascaline. Among the museum’s seven collection categories are Mechanics and Construction.

Website: https://www.arts-et-metiers.net/musee/visitor-information

famous building museums france
Parvis du Musée des arts et métiers, courtesy of Julie Delaporte, Wikimedia commons.

Ettore Guatelli Museum - Gaiano, Italy

As Italian professions and culture progressed towards automation in the 20th century, junk stores began filling with discarded artisan’s tools. Ettore Guatelli – recognizing the historic value of many of the relics – began collecting tools, implements, and other thought-to-be-obsolete items with the idea of creating a tangible narrative of Italian life at the onset of the industrial revolution. The walls and ceilings of the odd museum are covered with tool-related artifacts, as well as many old daily household items.

Website: https://www.museoguatelli.it/visitaci/

famous building museums italy
Utensili. By cristina.sanvito – CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Future Artifact for the National Building Museum’s 1st Centennial in 2080...

In 60 years from now your grandchildren might visit the National Building Museum in D.C. (founded 1980). There they will marvel at the first, portable DIY app for roofing pros – iRoofing! And why not?  iRoofing revolutionized the roofing business when it developed a simple-to-use mobile app for performing unlimited measurements, estimates, real-life roof simulations, digital sales presentations, and CRM.  A futuristic kiosk will let the software-savvy kids of 2080 interact with original, wildly innovative iRoofing features.. sketching a roof from overhead satellite images or high-resolution aerial images; instantly calculating the roof area to be covered, and selecting materials from the app’s digital catalog for presentations and proposals to property owners.  It will be the most engaging exhibit in the entire museum!

Don’t miss being part of construction tool history yourself, NOW… Subscribe to iRoofing and live the future! Measure, Estimate, Simulate, and present roofing jobs to your heart’s content… all for one, flat, low monthly fee. 

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