Industry & Manufacturing
The Museum's collections document centuries of remarkable changes in products, manufacturing processes, and the role of industry in American life. In the bargain, they preserve artifacts of great ingenuity, intricacy, and sometimes beauty.
The carding and spinning machinery built by Samuel Slater about 1790 helped establish the New England textile industry. Nylon-manufacturing machinery in the collections helped remake the same industry more than a century later. Machine tools from the 1850s are joined by a machine that produces computer chips. Thousands of patent models document the creativity of American innovators over more than 200 years.
The collections reach far beyond tools and machines. Some 460 episodes of the television series Industry on Parade celebrate American industry in the 1950s. Numerous photographic collections are a reminder of the scale and even the glamour of American industry.
"Industry & Manufacturing - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Every whaling voyage began with assembling a crew from whatever labor pool was available in a port city at a particular time. In New Bedford in late May 1876, 31 men signed to work aboard the 106-foot bark Bartholomew Gosnold for its next voyage. Less than half were from the United States; the rest were from Portugal, England, Ireland, Germany, France and Scotland. The two Frenchmen and one of the eight Portuguese were listed as blacks; the remaining men were of light or brown complexion. Four each of the crew were in their forties and thirties; 16 were in their twenties, and six were in their teens. Three of these teenagers, all from the New Bedford area, were only 16 years old when they shipped out.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center