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.
- By the later 19th century, guns had replaced most hand harpoons and lances, since they were far more efficient and deadly to the prey. They also could be shot from a safer distance from the prey than the hand tools could be wielded. The darting gun was one of the more popular types. Loaded with different darts, this versatile weapon could be used both for harpooning and killing whales.
- This particular gun was displayed at the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition in London, England. After the display ended, it was donated to the Smithsonian by its inventor, Capt. Eben Pierce of New Bedford, Mass.
- date made
- guns replaced hand tools
- late 19th century
- displayed at the International Fisheries Exhibition
- Pierce, Eben
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center