Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


Handmade in the 18th Century

The Tannery in fall

Take your students back in time to one of America's earliest industrial parks!

The Smithy in Bethlehem PA

Handmade in the 18th Century (aka: Discovering the Material World©) is a 2 hour EITC approved hands-on learning experience situated in Historic Bethlehem’s Colonial Industrial Quarter!

This school tour includes crafts and demonstrations--all in the shadow of the 1750 Smithy, Springhouse, TanneryLuckenbach Mill, and Waterworks.

This program brings history to life by engaging participants in hands-on, cross curricular STEM focused activities that introduce your students to America's early colonial trades, including:

  • Metalsmithing (with a real blacksmith!)
  • Weaving
  • Tanning
  • And More!

Location: 459 Old York Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18018

Length: 2 hours


Programs are aligned with the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards and integrated with STEM education.

Children doing an activity in the Colonial Industrial building

A. “Walk Like a Moravian”: Find out what types of industries were operated by the Moravians, and understand the kinds of power used in operating these industries at Grist Mill, Springhouse, Waterworks, and Tannery.

B. “Work Like a Moravian- Pottery”: Understand why pottery was essential to the Moravians by using various potter’s techniques to create a functional pottery piece.

C. “Metalworking at the Smithy”: Discover the important role of the 1750 Smithy in Bethlehem and observe a real blacksmith in action. Learners will also discover the role of the tinsmith, and create a decoration using tin-punching techniques.

D. “Work Like a Moravian- Spinning and Weaving”: Using a small cardboard loom, weave a piece of fabric and learn how to create a “penny pocket” from the finished fabric. Discover why spinning and weaving was essential to Moravian Life.

E. “Work Like a Moravian- Leatherworking”: See why leatherworking was essential to Moravian life and practice a few leatherworking techniques.

A woman in Moravian dress helping students

In order to make your class’s field trip to Colonial Industrial Quarter the most pleasant and best possible learning experience, we ask that you review these guidelines:

  • Before arriving, please place students into even groups of approximately 10-12 students per group. Please assign one chaperone per group.
  • Please make students and chaperones aware that they will stay in their assigned groups and travel as a group from station to station while at the CIQ.
  • The CIQ program does require students to be outdoors. They should dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy shoes for outdoor terrain.
  • The tour of the buildings in the CIQ requires walking outside and visiting some buildings that are not heated.  The program is held rain or shine.
  • A picnic lunch is permitted on site after the program concludes.  If you will be having lunch on site, students must bring their own packed lunch and drink.
  • Please emphasize good behavior with your students.
A group poses at Historic Moravian National Landmark Site

If you have any other questions, call 1-800-360-TOUR, or contact our Museum Sites & Education Manager, Keith Sten.

Colonial Industrial Quarter Bethlehem PA

Bethlehem is in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, only 60 miles north of Philadelphia and 90 miles west of New York City. The Colonial Industrial Quarter is located at 459 Old York Road in Bethlehem, PA.

From Route 22:

  • Take Rt. 378 South to Center City Exit (#3).
  • At end of ramp turn right onto Third Ave.
  • At stop sign turn right onto Union Blvd.
  • At traffic light turn right onto Main St.
  • At end of Main St. turn right onto Spring St.
  • Spring St. parking lot is on right.  Buses may park here.
  • Walk students across wooden footbridge.  HBMS rep. will meet you there.


From Route 309--

  • Take Rt. 378 N to Bethlehem
  • Take Main St. Exit off of Hill-to-Hill Bridge - stay in right lane
  • At end of ramp make hard right onto Spring St.
  • Spring St. parking lot is on right.  Buses may park here.
  • Walk students across wooden footbridge.  HBP rep. will meet you there.


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74 West Broad Street, Suite 310, Bethlehem, PA 18018 | Phone: 610-882-0450 | FAX: 610-882-0460 | info@historicbethlehem.org

Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Registration and financial information about Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999, or on the web at www.dos.state.pa.us. Registration does not imply endorsement.