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One-of-a-kind museum: Joshua Hendy Iron Works Museum in Sunnyvale, CA

The Joshua Hendy Iron Works Museum in Sunnyvale, California, is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the renowned Joshua Hendy Iron Works – a company established in 1890 by Scottish-born machinist Joshua Hendy. As a beginner in the iron industry, Hendy quickly achieved success due to his unique vision and superior craftsmanship. The company became a leader in the manufacture of heavy mining machinery, as well as other essentials for the development of iron-rich territory like the famous “Hendy Gears” used in the mining industry. Today, the Joshua Hendy Iron Works Museum in Sunnyvale is a unique educational resource where visitors can learn about the industry's history, technology, and venture that made Hendy famous. Learn more here.


Upon entering the museum, visitors are immediately welcomed by the historic Hendy building, dating back to 1895, when it was first established. This piece of architecture is a testament to the industrial revolution in California at the time, with its sandstone walls, butterfly trusses, and wooden floors all crafted from materials used in the Joshua Hendy Iron Works factory. Aside from the building’s historical significance, the grounds themselves have been home to numerous inventors, innovators, and engineers, who

 helped revolutionize the development of the industrial era. Learn more about Sunnyvale Municipal Tennis Center in Sunnyvale, CA: A Guide to One of the Bay Area's Best Tennis Facilities.

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The heart of the Joshua Hendy Iron Works Museum is the collection of relics and artifacts that reveal a piece of the industrial past. Exhibits are organized into interactive displays, presenting a comprehensive look at the development of the industry through a variety of interpretive programs and activities. As visitors examine the artifacts, they gain a deeper understanding of how the Joshua Hendy Iron Works manufactured everything from mining equipment to locomotives. The museum also features an interactive timeline that displays the accomplishments of Hendy and his team over the years, as well as an array of photographs, artifacts, and documents that provide further insight into the life and work of an industry leader.


Visitors are also invited to view rare objects from the past, such as Hendy’s original drawings and sketches and his personal papers and correspondence. In addition, several artifacts from the Joshua Hendy Iron Works factory, including gearboxes, gears, and rail parts, are on display. This vast collection of machinery and tools allows visitors to understand better how Hendy and his team developed a range of products to keep up with demand and how they could remain competitive in an ever-changing industry.


The Joshua Hendy Iron Works Museum is much more than just a museum — it is a window into the past that allows visitors to witness the development of one of California’s most important industries. By examining the evidence of Hendy’s work and his team’s contributions to the development of the industrial revolution, visitors gain a deep appreciation for their incredible achievements and the critical role they played in creating a new age in America’s economic development. Today, the museum is an educational resource for people of all ages, offering a unique and fascinating look at the state's industrial history.

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