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.
- Fish processors, laboratory staff, inspectors, supervisors, and others who work in the factory aboard the Alaska Ocean wear royal blue coveralls like these when on duty. These polyester coveralls are worn over other clothing to maintain standards of hygiene in the factory. Some processors change their coveralls several times during their daily 12-hour shift, which can extend to kicker shifts of an additional three hours. Because clean coveralls are always in demand, the factory’s laundry crew keeps the industrial washers and dryers running continuously. The coveralls, with the words Alaska Ocean emblazoned across the back, zip up the front and are typically worn tucked into boots.
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- McFarland, Thelma
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center