Come Experience Historic Soule’ Steam Feed Works as the museum celebrates America’s Industrial Revolution. The Smithsonian exhibit is a key component of this celebration and illustrates the American workers’ contribution in making the country an economic and industrial giant. Industrial heritage exhibits throughout the museum celebrate the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Meridian, a community that thrived in spite of Sherman’s destructive campaign that destroyed the city on February 14, 1864.
Step back in time and experience how people worked in the early 20th century. Soule’ Steam Feed Works is the last remaining steam engine factory in the United States and offers a glimpse at how hard people worked. Visit the 1907 belt-driven machine shop that looks much as it did prior to World War II. The foundry, complete with cupola furnace, core-making department and pattern shop. The Soule’ office contains most of the original furnishings dating from the 1930s. The indoor forge provided the blacksmith with a modern means of forging iron into shapes needed at the factory. Learn about the Foundrymen, Pattern-Makers, Journeyman Machinists, and other workers that built the products sold around the world.
Discover how inventor and industrialist George W. Soule’ and other talented individuals contributed to the development of industry in Meridian and the Deep South. See examples of Soule’s steam engines, patents and other products he designed and manufactured. Learn what natural resources from the Meridian area were used to build the great industrial cities of the northern United States. See examples steam engines that powered industry during this period and learn how steam power was important in building the nation.
Do you know Rosie the Riveter’s connection to Meridian? Find out at the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum and listen to the original 1940s song.
Who created the first ethnic hair product manufacturer in the world? Visit the museum and see early examples of these products.
See the most complex machine ever designed and built in the late 1800s and find out the revolution it caused in publishing at the letterpress print shop.
Two examples of the world’s only manufactured and successfully marketed rotary steam engine are on display at the museum.
Did you know that many child labor issues in the South were resolved in Meridian. Find out more at the museum.
What company town near Meridian became known at the “brightest town south of St. Louis”?
What Meridian business became the basis of one of the largest educational foundations in Mississippi?
The museum is open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Electronic admission tickets at Eventbrite.com are suggested, but not required. Eventbrite is the best source to show if museum tours are available on any given date. Some tours dates may not be available due to museum events, special public events and private events. Other downtown Meridian events may block streets, making accessibility very difficult (ie Magnolia Marathan & Half on November 20, 2021).
All tours will be self-guided through the downstairs area of historic Soule' Steam Feed Works. Social distancing is requested at this time. Masks are optional.