Alaska's history has often followed the path dictated by two opposing forces - the desire to exploit the natural resources, and the need for the technology and transportation to reach, process, and remove the products. At each step, Alaska's development has been limited by the available technology and transportation of the day. The Alaska of today was formed in a series of booms and busts. A new resource was found, the technology to exploit it became available, and the resource was exhausted. Gold and other resource exploration resulted in the development and use of railroads, roads, river steamboats, and (later) aircraft to serve the transportation needs. As the inevitable bust followed the boom, the technology of the day was left behind on the tundra and in the forests to rust and rot because it was too expensive and too impractical to remove. MATI was established to give a home to the transportation and industrial remnants and to tell the stories of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth.