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.
- Despite automation of basic fish processing functions like gutting and filleting, there is still a lot of handwork to be done aboard a factory trawler like the Alaska Ocean. And work around cold water, fresh fish, and heavy machinery means that gloves are a crucial part of a factory worker’s outfit.
- These heavy vinyl gloves were worn by a female fish processor during the summer fishing season in 2007. An estimated 1200 to 1400 pairs of these gloves were being used, cleaned, and reused aboard the Alaska Ocean in 2007.
- In addition to these heavy work gloves, the onboard laundry operation oversaw the distribution of 5,000 pairs of lighter rubber gloves, 800 pairs of cotton gloves, and 1200 pairs of wool gloves. The crew working in the freezer hold, known as the “pain cave,” wore thick, insulated gloves, and lab workers used disposable gloves when conducting tests on products for quality control.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center