Today, I traveled to the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, Massachusetts for the December Mass. JASNA meeting, Jane Austen birthday celebration and holiday tea. This museum is now the new location for regular meetings, in this small city west of Boston. This was my first time attending a meeting in the new location and I bought the tea tickets for myself and my friend — my friend’s ticket was part of her Christmas holiday present.
Waltham apparently was one of the first cities to have factories with innovative technology including the Waltham Watch company and they harnessed the power of the water of the rivers as mills also did in Lowell and other parts of Massachusetts. The photo above is on the footbridge walking into the entrance of the museum. We arrived early to be able to look around. They have a quite a collection of antique machinery including cars, bikes and the history of the watch factory as well as clocks. My dad would have loved this place. They also host a large outdoor steampunk festival every spring.
We met upstairs and enjoyed a one-woman show called “Miss Austen at Home,” performed by the very talented Laura Rocklyn. She took a number of questions, gave thoughtful answers and confirmed that she used Jane Austen’s own letters — the collection by Deirdre Le Faye as the bulk of her original source material.
After the show we had our yearly toast to Jane Austen as her birthday is in December and then had a lovely tea. The catering company brings in vintage teapots and cups all in different colors and styles. It was a lovely chatting with everyone and taking a break from all the worries at work and everything that needs to be done around the holidays.