Catasauqua Press

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cement museum reports statistics

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Curator Ed Pany said the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum had a banner year in 2018 with a large mix of students from the Northampton Area School District and representatives from nine foreign countries, various organizations and others visiting the museum on tours.

There were 2,947 students and teachers who attended tours and educational programs. There were another 536 other persons who toured the museum. The total number of museum visitors adds up to 3,483.

Although the museum is open to the public two Sunday afternoons each month from May through September, there are many special days throughout the year when tours are provided for organizations and students.

Pany reports the museum hosted visitors from Romania, Germany, Mexico, Hungary, Egypt, Colombia, Poland, Brazil and Peru in 2018.

Closer to home, visitors from the District of Columbia and 17 different states are on the rolls, including New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Delaware, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

A highlight event of the year was a visit to the museum by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/East Coast Cement Industry conference held in Allentown. The October excursion brought many guests from different states and countries.

Numerous photos of the cement industry were added to the collection in 2018. The museum boasts original artifacts, interactive displays and an original lab and office from the once-bustling Atlas Portland Cement Company.

Most of the remaining operating cement companies in the Lehigh Valley supported the museum financially in 2018 through the Atlas Cement Memorial Museum Trust. The cement companies also work alongside museum personnel with a learning team at Northampton Area Middle School.

Another major project the museum embraces is honoring a Cement Worker of the Month. The honorees receive a photo and biography that appear in the Northampton Press, Whitehall-Coplay Press, Catasauqua Press and the Bath Home News.

The museum trust board includes Larry Oberly, Sally Madden, John Yurish and Pany. The members also serve as tour guides.

The museum prides itself in that the hundreds of exhibits are donated, which means the museum uses zero tax dollars, and there is no admission fee.