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.
- This vinyl bib apron was worn by fish processor Thelma McFarland over her coveralls and rain pants during her work shifts aboard the factory trawler Alaska Ocean in the summer of 2007. Processors like McFarland stand at long tables or conveyor belts and encounter considerable water and fish parts as they work. Processors typically wear aprons of one sort of another for protection.
- Although the on-board laundry crew takes care of cleaning workers’ coveralls, rain pants, gloves, and plastic sleeves, each worker is responsible for cleaning his or her apron. McFarland, who is about 5 feet tall, adjusted her apron to suit her small frame by cutting off the lower portion. She also personalized it by writing her name in permanent marker across the bib.
- date made
- McFarland, Thelma
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center