The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles debuted its brand new facade on Saturday after a several months-long multifaceted construction project.
The Boyertown Museum unveiled its new look with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and remarks by board members and VIPs and acknowledgements to the contractors.
In addition, a “car show through the decades” was held in the parking lot displaying historic photographs of the Boyertown Museum, which was formerly the Boyertown Auto Body Works, manufacturer of commercial and military truck bodies.
While the event focused on the exterior improvements, much has been done to the interior, including a suspended ceiling, new floor, and an elevator, over the past several years to both enhance the visitor experience and better protect the transportation history treasures on display.
After the official unveiling, the Boyertown Museum showcased an exciting new addition to the collection, a 1938 Dodge truck modified into a camper and show stage by world-famous strongman Joseph Greenstein, also known as The Mighty Atom.
Known locally for his weekly performances at Zern’s Farmer’s Market, Greenstein was a Guinness World Record holder and demonstrated feats of strength throughout the United States. Born to a poor family in 1893 in Suvalk, Poland, Greenstein endured many ailments as a young child. As a teenager, he learned from Champion Volanko, a circus strongman, how to defend himself.
When his family later emigrated to Texas, Greenstein eventually found fame performing feats of strength. As locals may remember, he also promoted clean and healthy living, and sold elixirs and tonics at Zern’s as a way of promoting this lifestyle. The Mighty Atom’s protégé, Slim the Hammerman, also used the truck as part of his strongman shows at Zern’s Farmer’s Market. The Mighty Atom’s truck is now part of the Boyertown Museum collection.
To go along with its premiere, local strongman The Irish Anvil, a student of Slim the Hammerman’s, performed an old time strongman show during the block party portion of the event.
Entertainment during the block party included KooKoo the Cartoon Magician, Silhouette Cuttings by Emily Byrne, vintage bicycle performances by The Wheelmen, and facepainting and balloon twisting by Mimzy.
Also part of the day’s festivities was a ‘vehicle timeline,’ with vehicles from every decade from the 1880s to the 2020s lining the street in front of the Museum. Antique trucks were on display behind the Mighty Atom truck and Irish Anvil performance area.
The “DeLorean of Berks County” also made an appearance at the Museum for the day, a nod to the Boyertown Museum’s efforts to travel “back to the future” with its historic vehicle collection.
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1965 by Paul and Erminie Hafer. The Museum, located at 85 South Walnut Street in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, preserves and displays examples of Pennsylvania’s road transportation history in the former factory buildings of the Boyertown Auto Body Works.
Over ninety locally manufactured cars, trucks, carriages, bicycles, and motorcycles are on display, as well as two examples of roadside architecture–a 1921 cottage style Sunoco gas station and a 1938 Jerry O’Mahony diner. The Museum is open seven days a week, 9:30am-4pm.