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“Interwoven: New Britain’s Textile Industry” Exhibit Opening
November 15 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
New Britain Industrial Museum, 56 West Main Street
New Britain, CT 06051 United States
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 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 them different from riverside mill towns.
The New Britain Industrial Museum will proudly unveil its first-ever traveling exhibit, Interwoven: New Britain’s Textile Industry, during an opening reception on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7 p.m.
After its initial six-month run at the New Britain Industrial Museum’s downtown New Britain location (59 West Main Street), the exhibit will travel to a variety of community partners’ locations. Museum Director Sophie Huget said, “this is an important step for the New Britain Industrial Museum. 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. We are grateful to our community partners for hosting the exhibit, allowing us to rotate our displays more freely.”
The “Hardware City of the World” was not known for its contributions to the textile industry, especially when Silk City (Manchester, CT) and Thread City (Willimantic, CT) thrived on the other side of the Connecticut River. Companies producing knit goods were a profitable, productive part of New Britain’s manufacturing scene. More importantly, whatever was needed to make an industrial textile machine work was made in this city. Further, whatever was needed to make textiles useful to people (i.e. “personal hardware,” including clasps, buckles, and hooks and eyes) was made here.
Never-before-displayed pieces from private collections will be on view at the Museum, including an impressive assortment of North & Judd products and founding documents from the American Hosiery Company in 1868.
The opening reception on Friday, November 15 at 7 p.m. will feature a brief gallery talk and light refreshments. Reservations are not required. This event is free and open to the public.
Additional host sites will be revealed near the end of Interwoven’s run at the New Britain Industrial Museum.
The Museum would like to thank Connecticut Humanities for making this exhibit possible. Additional thanks to Gariphic Design.