At ‘This Place in History’ we’re with Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society Steve Perkins.
“We’re going to finish up our series on the Precision Valley, this area of Vermont. And we’re going to go into the American Precision Museum and talk to Executive Director Steve Dalessio and he’s going to show us some interesting machines from the 20th Century,” began Perkins.
“In this area of particularly Vermont, Windsor was one of the anchors of this segment called the Precision Valley because we were here making precision parts for the interchangeability aspects of guns and other consumer culture parts. Everything had to be made precisely,” explained Dalessio.
“Springfield, too. And it went right down to Hartford, Connecticut. That was the entire Precision Valley and along that way, there were all kinds of precision machining being done.”
“And it really grew up because of the water power of the Connecticut River?” asked Perkins.
“That’s correct. Going back into the 1850s again, there was no electricity, so water power was it,” answered Dalessio.
“So, in the 20th Century, the machine tool industry in Vermont was a huge sector of our economy. What does that mean, machine tool?” asked Perkins.
“A machine tool is a combination of activities that form a part that has been put together. In the 20th Century, it was motors and cams and electronics that started to come together to be able to precisely control the motion of the tools that were able to make the parts,” explained Dalessio. “Today manufacturing is one of the strongest industries out there. We’re continually growing, automating. Our productivity is probably among the highest it has ever been.”
“How can people learn more about that?” asked Perkins.
At ‘This Place in History’!
For more from our ‘This Place in History’ series, click here.
To view a map of Vermont’s roadside historic markers, click here.