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.
- Until Charles A. Spencer began making microscopes in Canastota, New York, in 1838, the only high-quality microscopes available in the United States were imported from Europe. Spencer gained fame among American scientists for his fine objective lenses, which provided stronger magnification and sharper resolution than many European models. This brass monocular microscope, equipped with a mirror to reflect light through the slide, could be used with either a compound or a simple lens.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
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- C. A. & H. Spencer
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center