What was life like in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War? The Museum of the American Revolution’s new discovery center, Revolution Place, brings to life the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s and invites visitors to learn through hands-on exploration.
Revolution Place features four key recreated historical environments – a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house – to immerse and engage families, especially kids 5 – 12 years-old, in the places where the American Revolution took root. Visitors will enjoy experiential elements, interactive touchscreens, reproduction objects, and special programming set against colorful murals that evoke scenes from 18th-century Philadelphia.
Four Key Sections of Revolution Place:
- Join the Continental Army! At a digital touchscreen, sign your name to an enlistment form using a quill pen, swear an enlistment oath, and find out how Continental soldiers got paid, clothed, and equipped.
- Climb inside a recreated soldier’s tent to experience what it would have been like to sleep there, dress up in uniforms and civilian clothes, and pretend to do laundry at a washtub while learning about the women and children who were often encamped with the army.
- Discover if others with your family name served in the Continental Army.
- Learn how the Revolutionary War affected people’s faith in a recreation of a non-denominational 18th-century church.
- Sit in pews or stand at the pulpit while learning how religiously diverse and free Philadelphia was during the Revolutionary era.
- At two window-shaped “People of Faith” digital touchscreens, explore the stories of seven men and women whose faith impacted their involvement in the Revolution, including those who were Jewish, Presbyterian, Anglican, Muslim, Quaker, African Episcopal, and Catholic.
Three Tun Tavern:
- Enter a recreation of Three Tun Tavern which was located across Chestnut Street from the Museum.
- Learn how taverns functioned as places where Revolutionary ideas and news were discussed, and where people came together to talk and make decisions.
- On the digital tabletops, place replica objects – including a tea cup, a porcelain bowl, a twist of tobacco and a man’s wallet, among other items – on an animated period map to learn where and how they were produced and used, and who might have used them.
- Watch ships sail across the digital screens to learn about trade routes that were used to move goods during the Revolutionary War.
- Handle reproduction newspapers from the period to prompt conversations about Revolutionary topics.
- See objects that would have been used in a 1700s tavern, including cups, bottles, bowls, plates, and decanters, in a recreated colonial “cage bar.”
- Enter a recreated parlor to experience home life during the Revolutionary War era. Sit around the table while learning manners and customs of the period.
- At a digital touchscreen, explore a map of the block where the Museum sits and learn about the owners of each parcel of land.
- At a recreated privy – an 18th-century outhouse – see where people threw their trash and view objects from the archaeological excavation of the Museum’s site, such as a ceramic mug, porcelain tea cup, a Philadelphia redware plate and a white salt-glazed stoneware plate.
Revolution Place is located on the Museum’s lower level in the John M. Templeton Jr. Education Center, which also includes two large multipurpose classrooms for students and other groups. It is supported in part with multi-media experiences, historical records, and funding from FamilySearch International, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.