Behind the Scenes of the American Precision Museum

November 23, 2022 6:44 pm


The largest original collection of American Machinist magazines dating back to the 1800s, original manufacturing drawings of a Bryant Grinder, and a STEM kit designed to engage and educate students about manufacturing – this is a behind-the-scenes look at the American Precision Museum.

Hear from Executive Director Steve Dalessio on how the museum began and its founder, how they inspire and engage the next generation of manufacturers through STEM camps and events, and more.

Located in Windsor, Vermont, the American Precision Museum showcases a world-class collection of historic machines. The location of this fascinating museum was not selected randomly. Before turning into the American Precision Museum, the building used to be the Robbins & Lawrence Armory, a National Historic Landmark. Here, in 1846, Samuel Robbins, Nicanor Kendall, and Richard Lawrence took the bold step of bidding on a government contract for 10,000 rifles. Having won the contract, they then constructed a four-story brick building beside Mill Brook. They brought in workers and mechanics, invented new machines, adapted old ones, and perfected techniques for producing interchangeable parts. Within a few years, they were exporting not only rifles but also their new metal-cutting machines across North America, England and around the world. The technology for making guns was quickly adapted to making consumer products as well as parts for many other machines.

Nowadays, the museum’s holdings include an unparalleled collection of industrial machinery spanning the first one hundred years of precision manufacturing, along with fine examples of early machined products including rifles, sewing machines, and typewriters. Photographs and archival records provide additional resources for interpreting this critical phase of the Industrial Revolution. If you are a machinist, a metalworker, or simply passionate about manufacturing and its history, this is a MUST-VISIT place! The museum is open Monday through Friday during the winter and seven days a week during the summer.

Learn more about the museum and the exhibition.

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