Pittsburgh Curiosities: The Museum of Material Failures

Our look at oddities around the region.

Material Failures Jun23

It’s an unlikely spot for a museum — let alone the only one of its kind in the world. Robinson-based Matergenics Inc. specializes in failure analysis, analyzing the causes of calamity and working to prevent disaster. Its headquarters doubles as the Museum of Material Failures, a unique collection of what’s left over after infrastructure gives up the ghost.

Here, you’ll find pieces of exploded gas lines, the corroded feet of topped telephone poles and hundreds of other carefully displayed examples of failure. The museum is the work of Dr. Mehrooz Zamanzadeh — Dr. Zee, he insists you call him — an expert in his field who curates the museum when he’s not flying all over the world to lecture and inspect (he’s just returned from analyzing infrastructure near an active volcano in Hawaii).

Call Matergenics during business hours and Dr. Zee will invite you to come out for a tour. The mission, he says, is to demonstrate that objects faithfully follow the laws of physics and chemistry; the error is always human.

Find It! 
100 Business Center Drive, Robinson. Information and Tours: 412-788-1263

Categories: Curiosities