2021 Past Exhibits

Measurement Rules

May 23, 2021 – September 5, 2021
Special Exhibit Included with Museum Admission

Measurement Rules is a family-friendly, interactive exhibit created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Measurement Rules explores the meaning of size, height, length, weight and volume through a variety of hands-on activities like giant tape measures, treadmill odometers, balance scales and more!

This playful exhibit, perfect for young children, teaches the fundamentals of measurement through fun questions like, “How many chickens do you weigh? How tall are you in apples or inches or pennies? Can you use your foot as a ruler?”


This exhibit is sponsored by:

Magnificent Measures!

The Hausman-Hill Collection
of Calculating Instruments

May 23, 2021 – September 5, 2021
Special Exhibit Included with Museum Admission

Magnificent Measures! The Hausman–Hill Collection of Calculating Instruments, is an exhibit featuring rare examples of historical measuring instruments drawn from the private collection of Bucks County residents Kathryn Hausman and Jim Hill.

Over the last fifty years, Hausman and Hill have built one of the most extensive private collections of early colonial and 19th-century American measuring implements. Many of the early measuring tools and complex instruments on display embody the sophisticated scientific principles that helped map, measure, and build early America.

Magnificent Measures! The Hausman–Hill Collection of Calculating Instruments includes instruments for measuring the weather (thermometers, barometers), land (surveying instruments), and the human body (a tailor’s rulers and other implements for gauging the size of arms, legs, waists, feet, heads and fingers for crafting clothing and accessories).

The exhibit showcases the work of significant early makers of measuring implements, such as notable 18th and 19th-century craftsmen Anthony Lamb, Rufus Porter, Thomas Greenough, Justus Roe, Caleb Leach, and the Chapin Family of Connecticut. Historic photographs and documents of these makers and their businesses add to the exhibit’s appeal.


This exhibit is sponsored by:

Friends of the Mercer Museum

Found, Gifted, Saved!
The Mercer Museum Collects Local History

Mercer Museum (84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown)

Friday, October 15, 2021 — Sunday, April 10, 2022
Exhibit included with Mercer Museum admission.

Found, Gifted, Saved! The Mercer Museum Collects Local History displays a staggering array of artifacts collected by the Bucks County Historical Society between the years of 2000 and 2021. These objects, images, and documents help illuminate the people, history, and culture of
Bucks County.

The exhibit consists of a series of thematic groupings that connect diverse objects, images, and documents in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. These groupings are intended to suggest themes that range chronologically and geographically across Bucks County’s past.

Read the exhibit labels for Found, Gifted, Saved!


The themes on display in the Found, Gifted, Saved! exhibit are:

  • Made in Bucks – Includes objects crafted, manufactured, and marketed in Bucks County, from the 18th through the 20th centuries.
  • The Way We Played – Features artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries related to sports, games, and children’s play in Bucks County.
  • The Times of Our Lives – Includes items that accompany the stages of life: infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. This group also included important rites of passage and rituals such as baptism, marriage, and funeral customs.
  • A Diverse People – Features artifacts, documents, and images that illustrate Bucks County’s historical racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, as well as those that document the arrival of immigrants to Bucks County.
  • What We Wore – Includes a broad sampling of men’s and women’s head-, foot-, and outerwear from different periods in Bucks County’s past.
  • Thank You for Your Service – Displays objects, images, and documents representing Bucks County residents in service to their country and community.
  • Which Side Are You On? Politics & Social Movements – Features political campaign and election materials, labor union artifacts, and items connected with various social or environmental movements.
  • The Way We Worked & The Tools We Carried – Includes a variety of implements used or carried by local laborers, objects that represent various types of workplaces, and images depicting the working lives of Bucks County’s people.
  • It Pays to Advertise! – Features numerous examples of advertising and commercial ephemera created to promote local businesses and industries.
  • Going to School in Bucks County – Includes objects and images related to public and private education and students’ school day experiences in Bucks County.
  • Wish You Were Here: Visiting Bucks County – Exhibits materials related to Bucks County’s long history of attracting tourists, day-trippers, artists, celebrities, and seasonal visitors, especially in the 20th century.
  • Collecting the Now – History continues to happen all around us. Materials in this segment reflect some contemporary events, issues, and concerns, collected while these events were happening.
  • Staff Picks – Mercer Museum staff have their own ideas about what local materials BCHS should collect – and why. This regularly-changing segment of the exhibition will highlight artifacts or images that staff members find particularly interesting, relevant, or evocative. Get to know the staff and the connections that they make to the collection!

Read more about this exhibit in our press release.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Tom Thomas

Jim and Kathy Morrison

Alice and Bob Vernon

Brian and Louise McLeod

Raphael Architects

Happ Contractors Inc.

Lower Bucks Hospital – Prime Healthcare

Tinsman Brothers Lumber

Awaken ______: An Experimental Exhibit

April 3, 2021 – April 30, 2023

In 2019, the Mercer Museum, operated by the Bucks County Historical Society, received a $230,000 grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to support a major initiative over a period of two and a half years entitled, “Plus Ultra: Awakening the Mercer Museum Core.”

Inspired by the Latin motto Plus Ultra, or “more beyond”, the Mercer Museum’s founder Henry Mercer spent his life as an archaeologist, historian, tile maker, storyteller, collector, and advocate for human ingenuity.

This experimental, capacity-building project, the first of its kind for the organization, allows the museum to prototype and transform various empty rooms in the original historic core of the Mercer Museum castle into intimate spaces designed for meaningful experiences through the power of objects.

Supported by a vast collection of historic artifacts, the project is a new framework for creating Mercer Museum exhibits that engage the community. It is experimental in nature – a project that builds capacity on how to plan exhibits in the future and learn more about the communities the museum wishes to engage.

Awaken ______:  An Experimental Exhibit offers visitors a reimagined and awakened Mercer Museum experience, reinventing unused museum spaces into areas in which to engage more deeply with the collections and one another. It will reintroduce the Mercer Museum in a fresh, unexpected and exciting way. These exhibits are meant to be working prototypes, not polished exhibits in the traditional sense, and are designed to offer “mini-excursions” adjacent to the larger experience of the Mercer Museum core.

This project offers visitors three prototypes to explore over two years:

  • Prototype A:  April 2021 – January 2022
  • Prototype B:  May 6, 2022 – November 27, 2022
  • Prototype C: December 17, 2022 – April 30, 2023

Learn more at our Awaken exhibit website: awakenthemercer.org.

Awaken ______: An Experimental Exhibit has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.



There are 44 rooms in Fonthill including 10 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms and 18 fireplaces.
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• The Mercer Museum will close early at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2023 for a private event.

• Fonthill Castle will close early on Saturday, September 30, 2023 for a private event. The final tour of the day will start at 2:00 p.m.

Full schedule and ticket information can be found here.