NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Industrial Museum will host an opening reception for its first traveling exhibit, “Interwoven: New Britain’s Textile History,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15.
“This is an important step for the New Britain Industrial Museum,” said Sophie Huget, its director. “Our strong museum community knows New Britain’s impact on American industrial history, but we need to share stories like these where people don’t expect to see them.”
The exhibit will travel to a variety of community partners’ locations.
There will be a brief gallery talk and light refreshments for all to enjoy as guests view never-before-displayed pieces from private collections, including an impressive assortment of North & Judd products and founding documents from the American Hosiery Co., dating to 1868.
When 19th- and 20th-century consumers sought clasps, buttons, eyes and hooks, ball bearings, zippers, wrenches, needles, lathe chucks, sash fasteners and the best Merino wool undergarments they needed to look no further than New Britain, Connecticut.
The city’s skilled hands and minds drove New Britain to create a distinctive textile industry, capitalizing on what made it different from riverside mill towns.
New Britain became known as the “Hardware City of the World” and whatever was needed to make textiles useful to people (i.e. “personal hardware,” including buckles and hooks) was made here.
More importantly, anything that was needed to make an industrial textile machine work was made here, as well.
Companies producing knitted goods were also a profitable, productive part of New Britain’s manufacturing scene.
This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required and all are welcome.
“We are grateful to our community partners for hosting the exhibit, allowing us to rotate our displays more freely,” said Huget.
Visitors have been able to view the exhibit over the past six months at the New Britain Industrial Museum’s downtown location at 59 West Main St.
The New Britain Industrial Museum exhibits items manufactured in New Britain, and its mission is to use the collection of items and the story of New Britain’s manufacturing triumphs to increase community pride and inspire the next generation.
Founded in 1995, the museum aims to collect, conserve and exhibit all items manufactured in the “Hardware City of the World.”