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Organization name: American Precision Museum
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PG-51535-12

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Beau Harris (Project Director: May 2011 to present)

Purchase of Environmental Monitoring Equipment to Preserve Historic Collections

The purchase of equipment to monitor environmental conditions for collections housed in the 1846 National Historic Landmark Robbins and Lawrence Armory, an international engineering heritage site. The museum's holdings document the history of precision manufacturing and include machine tools, models, and firearms, which date from 1820 to the mid-20th century, as well as books and records from 19th-century machine tool companies.

The American Precision Museum will purchase 11 PEM environmental monitoring data loggers to improve information management and the quality of data we have been gathering since 2005. The museum will also buy its first handheld equipment to monitor visible light, ultraviolet light and temperature and relative humidity conditions - needed for collections care and exhibits development. The purchases are based on recent recommendations by consulting conservators. The museum’s collections are primarily machine tools and the products of precision manufacturing including firearms, sewing machines, and typewriters, supported by related archival and library holdings.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,599 (approved)
$5,599 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 6/30/2013


GI-50286-11

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Carrie Brown (Project Director: August 2010 to present)

Shaping America: Machines and Machinists at Work

Implementation of a permanent exhibit and related programs exploring how precision manufacturing influenced the course of American history and emphasized motivations, rapid industrialization, U.S. emergence as a world power, and the development of consumer culture.

The American Precision Museum is housed in the 1846 Robbins & Lawrence Armory, a National Historic Landmark, where in the mid to late 19th century, a group of inventors and machinists perfected the tools and techniques of precision manufacturing. Our project will create a new, long-term exhibition and related programs that explore the themes of innovation and work, and the influence of precision manufacturing on the course of American history. Highly skilled workers produced new machinery that helped drive rapid industrialization, the emergence of the united States as a world power, and the development of the consumer culture. The project will take place over three years from May 2011 to April 2014 and the new exhibition, titled Shaping America: Machines and Machinists at Work, will open in May 2014.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$340,000 (approved)
$321,444 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2011 – 4/30/2016


PF-50087-10

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Ann Lawless (Project Director: December 2009 to present)

Improving Environmental Conditions for Historical Collections

A planning project to explore passive and mechanized methods for managing humidity levels in a National Landmark museum building that houses a collection of historic machine tools, documenting the history of precision manufacturing in the United States.

The American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont seeks to develop plans to improve environmental conditions that are adversely affecting collections in the Robbins & Lawrence Armory building, a National Historic Landmark. The building houses the museum and its unparalleled collection of industrial machinery along with other artifacts, archival, and library materials. This planning project would bring together a team of staff and four consultants: a conservator and a preservation architect working with a civil and a mechanical engineer. The team would study existing information about the building and collections, then explore on-site, draft architectural and engineering strategies, and convene again to review these ideas for consistency and compatibility. The plans would be finalized in November 2011 to a level sufficient to seek implementation funding. The consultants would also assist in developing proposals for implementation.

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Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Program:
Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$25,348 (approved)
$25,348 (awarded)

Grant period:
11/1/2010 – 11/30/2011


PG-50387-08

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Ann Lawless (Project Director: May 2007 to present)

American Precision Museum Conservation Advisor Project

A conservation assessment of historic industrial artifacts, including machine tools, models, firearms, and measuring and gauging devices. The conservator would also evaluate environmental monitoring data and train staff in the care and handling of collection items.

The American Precision Museum (APM) has been collecting industrial artifacts without a curator or collections manager since the museum's founding in 1966. In 2007, with support from an IMLS grant, we hired our first collections manager to complete a Collections Information Project that includes, recordkeeping, inventory, and in the third and final year, rearrangement of our storage areas. Because of the specialized nature and significance of the collection, we seek a consultation with a conservator experienced with industrial collections similar to ours. Ms. Clara Deck, presently Senior Conservator at the Henry Ford, Dearborn MI, will visit for two days to train staff and members of our trustee collections committee in preventive conservation, and procedures and supplies for care and handling. After the site visit, she will write a report summarizing her findings, including an evaluation of the environmental monitoring data gathered since 2005, and make realistic recommendations.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2008 – 6/30/2009


BP-50060-08

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Carrie Brown (Project Director: September 2007 to present)

American Precision Museum Interpretive Plan

Planning of a major permanent exhibition on the rise of precision manufacturing and its importance in American industrial history.

At a site uniquely positioned to tell the story of precision manufacturing in America, this project will interpret the American Precision Museum through a major, permanent exhibition on the history of the machine tool and the rise of the ?American System? of manufacturing.This will be the first major, permanent exhibition to explore Vermont?s industrial history in any depth, and it will overturn many a visitor?s pre-conceived notions about New England industry. Building upon one of the finest collections of machine tools in the nation, the museum will develop an exhibition that not only illuminates the machines but also explores the lives of the people who made and used them. Windsor is considered to be the cradle of precision manufacturing. The machines and systems designed and built here made mass production possible. Mass production in turn has made possible abundant food and clothing, improved sanitation and health care, and the leisure for universal education.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Interpreting America's Historic Places: Planning Grants

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$39,642 (approved)
$39,642 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2008 – 8/31/2009


PG-50101-07

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Ann Lawless (Project Director: May 2006 to present)

Improving Collections Storage

The purchase of supplies and equipment to store collections housed in the 1846 National Historic Landmark Robbins and Lawrence Armory, an international engineering heritage site. The museum's holdings document the history of precision manufacturing and include machine tools, models, and firearms, which date from 1820 to the mid-20th century, as well as books and records from 19th-century machine tool companies.

American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont, will improve storage conditions and our ability to care for collections by (1) reducing excess humidity in the Annex storage area through installation of a dehumidifier; (2) reducing excessive light levels in Armory storage by installing 50 window roller shades; (3) rehousing and reshelving archival collections in both locations, and using a new museum vacuum cleaner purchased as part of the project to improve the level of cleanliness in storage areas. These activities are based on the detailed recommendations of prior conservation consultants.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$3,331 (approved)
$3,331 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2007 – 6/30/2008


PA-50515-04

American Precision Museum, Inc. (Windsor, VT 05089-1312)
Ann Lawless (Project Director: May 2003 to present)

Collections Storage and Monitoring

The purchase of environmental monitoring equipment, storage shelving, and the services of a conservator who would provide onsite collections care training for the museum's staff and volunteers.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Program:
Preservation/Access Projects

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 6/30/2005