Boyertown Museum Debuts Its ‘Same Space, New Face’

Cars and trucks on display at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles (at top) will be part of its half-price admission Saturday, when it also unveils its new façade

BOYERTOWN PA – The new façade of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles at 85 S. Walnut St., the result of several months of what the museum calls its “multifaceted construction project,” receives its grand debut Saturday (Nov. 6, 2021) at 11 a.m. with an unveiling ceremony.

Later the same day, at 1:30 p.m., the museum will reveal a second surprise: the addition to its collection of a 1938 Dodge truck modified into a camper and show stage. It was owned and created by world-famous strongman Joseph Greenstein, also known as “The Mighty Atom.”

The 11 a.m. museum face-lift observance will include remarks by members of its Board of Directors and community leaders, acknowledgements to its contractors, a ribbon-cutting, and refreshments. Accompanying the ceremony will be a “car show through the decades” display with historic photos of the museum. Its building formerly housed the Boyertown Auto Body Works, which manufactured commercial and military truck bodies.

The museum over several years “has worked hard to improve its facilities both inside and out,” Executive Director Kendra Cook said. In addition to the most recent focus on its exterior, interior improvements include addition of a suspended ceiling, new floor, and an elevator. The modifications “both enhance the visitor experience and better protect the transportation history treasures on display,” she added.

The afternoon introduction of Greenstein’s well-known truck recalls “The Might Atom’s” weekly performances at the former Zern’s Farmer’s Market in Gilbertsville.

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 illnesses 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.

Long-time area residents may also remember Greenstein’s ahead-of-its-time promotion of clean and healthy living. He sold elixirs and tonics at Zern’s as a way to introduce market visitors to the lifestyle.

An old-time strongman performance by “The Irish Anvil,” an area resident himself, accompanies the truck display. Both are free to attend and open to the public, as well as a block party from 2-4 p.m. that features KooKoo the Cartoon Magician, Silhouette Cuttings by Emily Byrne, vintage bicycle performances by The Wheelmen, and face-painting and balloon-twisting by Mimzy. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from CDs Place Catering & Eatery, Stirrups Mobile Bar, and the Peppermint Stick Candy Store.

Additionally, the museum will be open to visitors that day for a special reduced price of $5 per person.

Diamond Credit Union, Antique Truck Club of America, and Everything Printing are silver sponsors of the event. Auto Appraisal Group, Classic Auto Mall, Dick’s Radiator, and Passmore Service Center are bronze sponsors. The event is also generously supported by Bauman Family Fruit Butters & Cider, and Manatawny Still Works.

The non-profit museum preserves and displays examples of Pennsylvania’s road transportation history in the former factory building. More than 90 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 from 9:30am to 4pm. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and AAA members, and ages 15 and younger are free.

For more information, call 610-367-2090.

Photo and video provided by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles