Warehouse of Wonders: Exploring Philadelphia’s top science museums

From the era of Pyramids to avant-garde equipments
/ New Delhi
Warehouse of Wonders: Exploring Philadelphia’s top science museums

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia as PHLCVB lists top science museums in the city

Unravel the mysteries of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Asia and the Middle East, in Penn Museum, or dig for dinosaur fossils, stroll among live butterflies, touch live animals in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia as PHLCVB lists top science museums in the city.
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The north-eastern city of Philadelphia is a major tourist magnet not just for its natural beauty and its gardens, but it is also home to some wonders of science and history, as the city houses numerous leading museums that attract visitors not just from across the United States but all over the world as well.

To highlight these wonders of science, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has prepared a list of key museums that a tourist must visit. In a press statement, PHLCVB says that the former capital of the United States is home to a variety of distinct, walkable neighbourhoods to the most prestigious and significant museums, attractions, and education centres tailored to suit a variety of interests and age groups.

It adds that located on the East Coast, Philadelphia’s smart and simple grid street design makes the heart of the city easy to navigate. PHLCVB goes on to list some of the most interesting explorations.

Penn Museum


Penn Museum is a museum dedicated to archaeology and anthropology located at the University of Pennsylvania

Uncover the mysteries of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Asia, and the Middle East, in Penn Museum’s Ancient Egypt: From Discovery to Display. Special exhibition offers publicly accessible visible storage, allowing visitors the opportunity to follow the path of an artefact in a three-part 600 sqm exhibition. PHLCVB says that visitors can access a closer look at breathtaking artefacts from the old kingdom, also known as the Age of the Pyramids, starting in 2613 BC, through the time of Cleopatra’s death in 30 BC. The museum’s 3,000-plus-year-old 12.5-tonne red granite Sphinx, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, on display in the main entrance hall is a great crowd-magnet.

Science History Institute

Science History Institute

The Science History Institute is an institution that preserves and promotes understanding of the history of science

PHLCVB says that the Science History Institute’s unique collection of over 100,000 objects, including scientific instruments, rare books, manuscripts, and photographs dedicated to the history of science and technology makes it a must visit. The free-to-visit museum is complete with several engaging permanent galleries in Philadelphia’s Old City neighbourhood, where visitors can learn about key figures throughout the history of science, such as the builder of the first electrospray ionisation mass spectrometer, Masamichi Yamashita, and discover the interesting history of common objects with the museum’s interactive object explorer.

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Science History Institute

Science History Institute is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas

PHLCVB says that discovering Philadelphia is incomplete without experiencing the oldest natural history museum in America. Here, visitors can dig for dinosaur fossils, stroll among live butterflies, touch live animals and take behind-the-scenes tours. The Academy’s working scientists are researching on providing real-time solutions on critical global issues like biodiversity, evolution, and environmental science.

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia has honored the legacy of Benjamin Franklin by presenting awards for outstanding achievements in science

PHLCVB adds that this prestigious education institute has 12 permanent exhibits, including Your Brain, the iconic walk-through 500 sqm Giant Heart, and much more. Designed to inspire a passion for science in the spirit and honour of American scientist Benjamin Franklin, the well-known museum offers interactive educational opportunities that present and reaffirm fundamental scientific ideas in fun and interesting ways.

Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia


Mutter Museum contains a collection of anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment

A collection of fascinating scientific discoveries about the human body with wax models, antique medical equipment, and anatomical and pathological specimens await visitors at the Mütter Museum. One of the oldest professional medical organisations in the country, PHLCVB says that the Mütter Museum provides a place for both medical professionals and the general public to learn about medicine as both a science and an art. Ticket-holders can access the centuries-old medical library filled with historic treasures, including rare books from the 14th century, first editions, scrolls, stone tablets, artwork, and so much more.

University City Science Center

University City Science Center

The University City Science Center was established as the first and largest urban research park in the United States

PHLCVB says that University City Science Center is the first and largest urban research park in the United States, founded in 1963 with the mission of bringing together academic institutions, corporate partners, and entrepreneurs to promote innovation and economic development. PHLCVB says that for over 50 years, the University City Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors.

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Wagner Free Institute of Science is a rare surviving example of a Victorian era scientific society

Wagner Free Institute of Science’s evening courses are in their 158th year, making them the oldest program devoted to free adult education in the United States. A natural history museum and educational institution, PHLCVB says that the Wagner institute is dedicated to providing free public education in science. The building houses more than 100,000 natural history specimens including fossils, shells, minerals, and mounted animal skeletons and skins displayed in original wood and glass cabinets.

Pennsylvania Hospital


Pennsylvania Hospital is the nation’s first hospital, featuring the oldest surgical amphitheater and a 13,000-volume library with a preserved seven-pound tumor

PHLCVB says Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, offers tours of the historic Pine Building with stops at a 13,000-volume library (home to a preserved seven-pound tumour) and the oldest surgical amphitheatre in the country. Several renowned medical professionals have treated patients in the amphitheatre. The University of Pennsylvania, which was home to the nation’s first medical school, includes Pennsylvania Hospital.

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