Turkey, in its former guise as the Ottoman Empire, more or less missed out on the industrial revolution, so much of what you see has been brought here from elsewhere. But don't let that slightly inconvenient truth put you off. Jaded by one too many Byzantine churches or "mosqued-out" after a plethora of Ottoman religious masterpieces? If so, this is the place for you and/or your offspring to come and indulge yourself with a more immediate and accessible past. The museum is partially housed in an old anchor foundry fronting the Golden Horn in a mixed neighborhood that once the heart of the city's Jewish community and known for its ship-building related industries. Today, the vast majority of Jews have moved out to more prosperous suburbs, and the ship building even further to Tuzla on the Sea of Marmara. You can, however, board a 1944-built U.S. submarine that saw action against the Japanese before serving the Turkish navy for 30 years, admire a caique (the long row-boats which once plied the Golden Horn and Bosphorus), and admire a fine collection of rare outboard motors.
Behind the submarine is a length of track with a '60s diesel engine and carriages which run weekends only. Automobile freaks will love the range of vintage vehicles on display, from workaday communist favorite the Trabant to the luxuriously capitalist Rolls Royce, as well as oddballs, such the amphibious 1961 German-made Amphicar— and many, many more. As well as these more traditional exhibits, there's a collection of cut-away domestic goods with each working part labelled, and explained at the press of a button. There's also a well-preserved Douglas DC-3 Dakota on show, a 1974 Lockheed Starfighter, and the remains of a B-24 Liberator which crashed in the sea off southern Turkey in 1943 after a World War II bombing mission and was salvaged in 1995. There's plenty to do here to keep you occupied for a couple of hours at least—which is great, as getting from the city center is slightly awkward (the Golden Horn ferry is by far the best bet). You can extend your visit with a meal in the very well-regarded on-site restaurant, the Halat.