American Precision Museum, Windsor

4.6
Specialty Museum · Museum
The American Precision Museum is located in the renovated 1846 Robbins & Lawrence factory on South Main Street in Windsor, Vermont. The building is said to be the first U.S. factory at which precision interchangeable parts were made, giving birth to the precision machine tool industry. In recognition of this history, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1987, the building was recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as an International Heritage Site, and the collection was recognized as an International Heritage Collection. For each of these designations, the armory was considered a site where pivotal events occurred in the history of American industry, as well as a place that lends itself to comprehensive interpretation of that history.

A "machine tool" is a machine which makes parts to other machines, such as screws or gun stocks, generally without a skilled craftsman doing the precision work. Instead, a machine operator controls the machine as it does the precision work. Lathes, milling machines, and drill presses are precision machine tools. The museum has the largest collection of historically significant machine tools in the United States. The museum's holdings include a 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.

The museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm from May 1 through October.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
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  • My husband wanted to visit but we both enjoyed this museum. It is located in the former site of the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, which made rifles used in the Civil War, among other things. John, a....  more »
  • The American Precision Museum is not (just) for Gear-Heads. APT started with the enthusiasms of an amateur tool collector who went on to found the Smithsonian's pursuit of this critical part of our...  more »

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