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Reading and Research:


The following are books that we’ve found helpful and you might find of interest as well.   Let us know what else belongs on this list! Email apm at americanprecision.org with the subject “Books”. 

Author Title Find it:
Edwin A. Battison Muskets to Mass Production: The Men and the Times that Shaped American Manufacturing (1976) Amazon
Carrie Brown Arming the Union:  Gunmakers in Windsor, Vermont Amazon, APM Gift Shop
Wayne G. Broehl Precision Valley: The Machine Tool Companies of Springfield, Vermont Amazon
David A. Hounshelll From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States (Studies in Industry and Society) Amazon
Wayne R. Moore Foundations of mechanical accuracy APM Gift Shop
Harry Phillips & Terry Tyler  Vermont’s Gunsmiths & Gunmakers to 1900 Amazon
Merrit Roe Smith Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change Amazon
Simon Winchester    The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World Amazon, APM Gift Shop
Study of Robbins & Lawrence Armory  Study by Historical American Engineering Record/Historic American Buildings Survey Read the PDF at the Library of Congress (free digital copy)


Stories of Ingenuity in the time of Coronavirus

Updated 4-22-200

During this global pandemic and crisis, we’d like to share a few good stories on one of our favorite topics:  Ingenuity.


  • The Wall Street Journal describes how companies are responding in much the same way they did during WWII: “It is a 21st-century version of the “Arsenal of Democracy,” the mobilization of industrial might that helped win World War II, only this time to make personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and vaccines instead of uniforms, ammunition, tanks and bombers.”  Click here to read the article – which has even more inspiring stories.

  •  Some hospitals are inviting healthy local volunteers to make cloth masks as a backup resource*.   For example, Here’s the guidelines for hand-sewn masks: Fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Volunteers must be healthy, without signs of fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, and must not have been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days.Volunteer mask makers are asked to use 100% unused, non-metallic cotton fabric for the front, and 100% cotton or cotton flannel for the back, along with ¼” or 3/8” flat elastics. Instructions for the preferred mask type may be found here.   (*These cloth masks are not as effective as the ones used in hospitals; however, they can still be used in healthcare settings for other circumstances allowing the N95’s to be saved for COVID19 patients.)

  • From AutoNews:  “Ford Motor Co. plans to build respirators, ventilators and face shields in partnership with its UAW work force, manufacturing company 3M and GE Healthcare to aid medical workers as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm their supply.  Known internally as “Project Apollo” and inspired by the quick-thinking ingenuity of the Apollo 13 space mission, executives on Tuesday said Ford workers plan to use car parts and factory tools to help get some equipment out to doctors, nurses and first responders as early as this week. ”  Read more here.

  • From Forbes:   “While this is a frightening time in so many ways, innovation has demonstrated innumerable times throughout history justified confidence and faith in the “invisible hand,” from the private sector’s transformative power in winning World War II to putting out oil well fires in Kuwait after being sabotaged at the end of the Gulf War in 1991.  ….Manufacturing capabilities are being expanded so they are ready to ramp up production once a successful medicine or vaccine is developed. And they are donating supplies and medicines around the world to help those affected. ”   Read more here 

  • From The Guardian:  “The last few weeks have seen a wave of ingenuity unleashed, with both garden-shed tinkerers and high-tech manufacturers scrambling to develop things that will combat the spread of Covid-19. Many of their innovations raise as many questions as they answer, though. …From 3D-printed respirator valves to UV-sanitising robots, here are 10 inventions that the battle against coronavirus has spawned so far.”  Read about them here.

If you know of a story we should add to this list, send us an email or contact us on social media!




Learning Lab

**This program is currently suspended until the Vermont order to restrict gatherings is lifted.   Updated 3-30-20**

The Learning Lab is used year-round for school group visits, after-school workshops, and other STEAM related activities. The Learning Lab is designed to for all ages “K” through “gray” to introduce new ideas, to challenge and inspire, and to create opportunities to experience and have fun with all levels of technology. We offer simple blocks and building kits for younger students, and 3D design, electronics and coding for the more advanced or ambitious among you.

Innovation Station

**This program is currently suspended until the Vermont order to restrict gatherings is lifted.   Updated 3-30-20**

The Innovation Station, our working machine shop, was established in 2008 and has operated continuously as a working machine shop, where visitors can watch various parts being manufactured. Through initial grant-funding from the Vermont Department of Labor, we engage local high school students in manufacturing education. Students receive hands-on experience with machine tools, while learning about advancements in the field, and career opportunities.

APM interns bring the Innovation Station to life as they demonstrate the operation of both historic and modern machine tools. The items they create are sold in our gift shop and provide financial support for the program. Our student interns who operate the Innovation Station serve as mentors to younger students. The Intern Program’s main goals are to inspire students to become the next generation of machinists and innovators, to incorporate a better personal understanding of the evolution of technology in their lives, and to provide communication skills to interpret the historic significance of that evolution to a wide audience. These initiatives address our mission: To capture the imaginations of young and old with the spirit of innovation, problem-solving and design demonstrated through the dynamic story of the machines and people that form the foundation and future of manufacturing in America.

The Innovation Station, with the support of numerous international machine tool companies, enables us to showcase state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. These machines tell the continuing story of evolution in manufacturing, while providing practical hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

The Innovation Station features:

  • Haas DT-1 CNC Machining Center/Midaco Pallet Changer
  • Fanuc LR Mate 200 iD Articulated Arm Robot
  • Bridgeport Milling Machine with HEIDENHAIN Conversational CNC Controller
Special thanks to Haas (Trident Machine), Midaco, Gosiger Automation (Fanuc), Evolution Aero, Abbot Workholding, and Kennametal for their generous contributions of advanced manufacturing machine tools and equipment to the Innovation Station.  

School Visits – Program On Hold

**This program is currently suspended until the Vermont order to restrict gatherings is lifted.   Updated 3-30-20**
School groups, $4.00 per student. Adult chaperones and bus driver admitted free. 
Call ahead for reservations and we can help you custom design a program for your class that fits with your current curriculum needs from Social Studies to STEAM to Careers.
Stay tuned for after school and summer camp announcements as they develop!

Call us at 802.674.5781 or Contact Us to learn more!

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