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.
- The weather deck on a factory trawler like the Alaska Ocean can be a dangerous place, especially when the huge net is being launched or hauled aboard. While mechanical winches do the heavy lifting, deck hands have to be present during such operations to attach or change cables, to secure or launch the trawl doors, to open the cod end of the net into the fish bins in the hold, and to accomplish a range of other tasks accurately and efficiently. To protect themselves while working on the deck, fishermen wear hard hats, earplugs, and other gear.
- This hard hat was worn by Alaska Ocean deck hand Matt Prebezac in 2007. Like other fishermen aboard, he customized the standard white hard hat so there would be no confusion over which hat to grab when the call came to report to the deck. Using a black permanent marker, he wrote the words “Rock Star” on the back of the hat. This ensured it wouldn’t be mistaken for his buddy Ben Boyok’s hat, which was adorned with the profile of a hawkeye, the team mascot of the University of Iowa, in Ben’s home state. Throughout the 2007 season, the Rock Star and the Iowa hawkeye, with four other deck hands, a lead fisherman, and a deck officer, worked 12-hour shifts in two teams.
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- Prebezac, Matt
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center