I will love any museum that features not only an IMAX movie of tornado chasing, but an actual tornado itself. During my visit to Chicago, Kat and I journeyed by city bus to the Museum of Science and Industry, a stately, imposing building. Built in 1933 for the Century of Progress Exposition, it’s the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Large enough to fit a 40-foot tornado.
The twister that formed from water vapor was definitely one of the most eye-catching exhibits in the museum, spiraling in the sensory overloading Science of Storms wing, where a Tesla coil would also periodically pop and weather balloons rose and fell. But there were many competing wonders big and small. My mind was exhausted by the end of our visit, and we didn’t even see everything after hours exploring.
Across from the storms was another tumultuous scene, where aircrafts, a train, a balloon, and all manner of automobiles seemed to careen toward you. That locomotive on the left is actually the first vehicle to ever go faster than 100 miles per hour.
Another exhibit made it possible for you to experiment with mixing oxygen, fuel, and heat to create a flame. Probably the only situation when such experimentation is safe.
I have an odd fondness for dated exhibits, especially those that look like rather well done science fair projects. I found this little model of a Solar Power Tower to be endearing.
I’m not sure how they ended up at a science museum, but there were some creepy circus dioramas, including this one of a side show.
I also enjoyed this magical plasma sphere.
But my favorite things in the museum were the antique science contraptions. (Look at the above flower lightbulb!) Here are some more wonderful things: