Science History Institute Mounts New Outdoor Exhibition

An extension of the Institute’s ‘Downstream’ exhibition, ‘Water Pics’ showcases a series of anti-pollution posters created in the 1950s by the Pennsylvania Sanitary Water Board.

The Science History Institute is pleased to debut Water Pics, a new outdoor exhibition featuring a series of posters created in 1951 by the Pennsylvania Sanitary Water Board. The historical designs were originally part of the Board’s anti-pollution campaign highlighting the challenges to water quality across the state, the multiple uses of water, and the value of clean water.

The outdoor installation is the latest addition to Downstream, the Institute’s new exhibition that explores more than 200 years of water analysis and protection in the United States. “These gripping images reveal the multiple users of water: factories, farms, fish, drinkers, dippers, and more. Balancing those uses is a longstanding challenge, and one that continues to this day,” said exhibition curator Jesse Smith.

Water Pics is installed on the façade of our building at 315 Chestnut Street in Old City Philadelphia, and will remain on view through spring 2022.

Learn more about the history of water at

Named one of Philadelphia’s best museums by Condé Nast Traveler, admission to the Science History Institute is always free and no advance tickets are required. Downstream is made possible in part by a Cultural and Historical Support Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.