As a manufacturer, you won’t find a more fitting place to attend an East Coast manufacturing event than Massachusetts, where large-scale U.S. industrialization began back in 1813. That’s when Francis Cabot Lowell, Patrick T. Jackson and a few others founded the United States’ first major industrial corporation, the Boston Manufacturing Co., which integrated and mechanized production from raw material to finished product under single management within a single factory. In short, it was the invention of the modern factory system.
Manufacturing has changed a lot since then, but Massachusetts and the rest of New England are still known for it — although the textiles of the Boston Manufacturing Co. have since been replaced by technology, computers, electronics and the aerospace industry. You’ll find these products and more at EASTEC, the East Coast manufacturing event, in West Springfield.
For example, you can get a firsthand look at what life and manufacturing were like in early America by viewing the textiles, tools, furniture and buildings of the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, just 35 miles from West Springfield in Deerfield. Or you can try your hand at the trades of the times at Old Sturbridge Village, which celebrates the people who lived in rural New England during the formative first decades of our nation. Boston, just 90 miles away from our East Coast manufacturing event, made its name in the early days as a center for the processing of wool, and for the manufacturing of clothing, textiles, shoes and leather goods.
Many textile mills and machine shops were operating in New England by 1830, and by the 1840s, the Northeast region was at the center of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. In fact, New England was the manufacturing center of the entire United States for much of the 19th century.
The significance of the Boston Manufacturing Co. cannot be overstated. Taken as a whole, the building, new technologies such as the loom, water power, an on-site labor force, payment in cash wages, and publicly traded stock were the wave of the future. Today, Northeast manufacturing is still the wave of the future, led by workers whose productivity exceeds the national average by more than 10 percent in Connecticut and 20 percent in Massachusetts — aided by the former state’s high-value-added aerospace industry and the latter state’s concentrations of computer, high-tech and electronics production along the Route 495 and Route 95/128 corridors.
See manufacturing’s past throughout Massachusetts and see its present at the East Coast manufacturing event, EASTEC. And just for the fun of it, stop by the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in West Springfield.