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The BMI was founded in 1977 as a project of the Mayor’s Office to collect for future generations the stories and histories of businesses that were leaving the city; stories that were in danger of being lost. In 1981, the BMI incorporated as a private 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational institution to teach the public about the rapidly disappearing industrial heritage of the region. In May of that year, the Museum moved into the historic Platt Oyster Cannery (c1870) on Key Highway and opened to the public in November.
The mission of the Baltimore Museum of Industry is to collect, preserve, and interpret the industrial and technological heritage of the Baltimore region for the public by presenting educational programs and exhibits that explore the stories of Maryland's industries and the people who created and worked in them.
BMI’s education programs serve over 80,000 students, teachers and parents annually with activities that complement the Maryland state curriculum. Programs augment classroom learning to help students connect what they learn in school with real world concepts and ideas about work, industry and economy. The museum's dynamic galleries recreate historic factory and work settings and display hundreds of industrial objects. BMI provides numerous services to the community from tours to public programs.