Attleboro Area Industrial Museum

Attleboro Area Industrial Museum AAIM collects and preserves artifacts that relate to the industrial history of the Attleboro area; makes these materials available for research and enjoyment; and acts as a resource center for the education of the public about our industrial history.
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We at the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum work to preserve and present the rich history of the Attleboro area with an emphasis on its industrial history. We strive to present this history through interesting exhibits and programs, access to historic photos and documents, and participation in civic activities. We welcome visits by individuals and groups interested in exploring Attleboro Area History. We are active in making historic presentations both at the museum and out in our community. We hope you will visit us often through our web site, our social media, and at our museum building. Take a good look at our area's history!

Operating as usual

Many thanks to our friends at the Sun Chronicle and AACS 15 for helping get the word out that the Museum is open.  Come ...
04/23/2021
Industrial museum in Attleboro to reopen as coronavirus numbers fall

Many thanks to our friends at the Sun Chronicle and AACS 15 for helping get the word out that the Museum is open. Come on by Thursday or Friday 10-4 or Saturday by appointment. You will be glad you did.

Check the links below for the Attleboro Update from March 27 and the Sun Chronicle article of March 15.

http://www.doubleacs.com/AU1221

https://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/coronavirus/industrial-museum-in-attleboro-to-reopen-as-coronavirus-numbers-fall/article_80d0b3c9-cb27-534b-9e1f-6e3f5ec123d8.html

ATTLEBORO — The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum will re-open to the public on Thursday, director Carleton Legg said.

Attleboro and North Attleborough post Influenza Epidemic 1918 -1919 as seen through reports from the Manufacturing Jewel...
04/16/2021

Attleboro and North Attleborough post Influenza Epidemic 1918 -1919 as seen through reports from the Manufacturing Jewelers trade journal. Like all publications, advertising paid the bills.
The Attleboro Refining Company is presently the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum on Union Street

The jewelry manufacturers in Attleboro were experiencing the same factors as North Attleborough during a three month per...
04/01/2021

The jewelry manufacturers in Attleboro were experiencing the same factors as North Attleborough during a three month period from October through December in 1918. The continuing wartime manufacturing, returning soldiers, then the end of World War I and the ramping up of the Spanish Influenza Epidemic. Here are some weekly articles from the Manufacturing Jewelers trade magazine. Included are two particle articles from Pittsburgh and Newark showing reaching of the influenza on the east coast.

North Attleborough had its own page in the Manufacturing Jeweler trade paper. Here is the continuing chronicle of the In...
03/24/2021

North Attleborough had its own page in the Manufacturing Jeweler trade paper. Here is the continuing chronicle of the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919. Attleborough (pre - city charter spelling) and North Attleborough had decided in August 1887, by just 23 votes of the more than 1,300 ballots cast, to approve a referendum dividing Attleborough and North Attleborough into separate communities.
Here is what was going on with the jewelry trade, according to the Manufacturing Jeweler trade paper in North Attleborough during the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.

The Manufacturing Jeweler was a weekly trade paper that originated in Providence, Rhode Island. It covered jewelry manuf...
03/17/2021

The Manufacturing Jeweler was a weekly trade paper that originated in Providence, Rhode Island. It covered jewelry manufacturing hubs all across the United States and even covered trade news stories throughout the world. The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum has a bound set covering 1885 through 1929. Here are a few pages from 1918 which gives a feel for life during World War I and just before the Spanish Influenza outbreak in Attleboro and North Attleboro from the jewelry manufacturers' point of view.
A reminder: the Museum re-opens to the public on Thursday March 18. We will be open Thursday and Friday from 10-4 and Saturday by appointment only following the social distancing, face masking and capacity limitations provided by the State of Massachusetts. Come by for a visit.

03/12/2021

After seeing improvement in the number of cases in the Attleboro area, the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum will re-open to the public starting on Thursday March 18, 2021. The Museum will resume our Thursday and Friday hours from 10-4 adhering to the health and safety standards for Museums provided by the State of Massachusetts. Hope you will stop by for a visit, of course following the social distancing, mask wearing and capacity limitations.

Continuing a look back at the way Attleboro handled the influenza pandemic from 1918 into 1919. Let's look at a more com...
03/04/2021

Continuing a look back at the way Attleboro handled the influenza pandemic from 1918 into 1919. Let's look at a more complete copy of the report from the Health Department for 1918. The wave of support and community effort to fight the 1918 pandemic is a testament to the Attleboro people.

Coming soon the effects the pandemic had on the local jewelry industry from the Industrial Museum's copies of the Manufacturing Jeweler weekly trade paper. The Museum has a set covering 1885 through 1929.

What were the folks in Attleboro thinking about and doing in 1918?  This might give you a picture.
02/12/2021

What were the folks in Attleboro thinking about and doing in 1918? This might give you a picture.

Nice to see our super volunteer Michael Mahony get recognized in the Sun Chronicle with the other "true santas".Follow t...
12/28/2020
TRUE SANTAS: When a visit turns into a volunteering passion

Nice to see our super volunteer Michael Mahony get recognized in the Sun Chronicle with the other "true santas".

Follow this link to learn more.https://www.thesunchronicle.com/true-santas-when-a-visit-turns-into-a-volunteering-passion/article_8f61e60f-0878-516d-ad90-b621e413ccb4.html

Michael Mahony of Attleboro enjoyed the Attleboro Industrial Museum downtown so much as a visitor that he has been pitching in as a volunteer there the past several years.

12/15/2020

Starting on Thursday December 17, 2020 the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum will be closed to the public until further notice. Our decision was made due to the increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in the Attleboro area.
Please check back here for updates.
May you all have a great Holiday Season and a Most Splendid New Year.

Looking for a gift for a certain special someone or a special family? Try a membership to the Attleboro Area Industrial ...
12/11/2020

Looking for a gift for a certain special someone or a special family? Try a membership to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum! Look at last years events in our annual newsletter the Clerestory. Go to this link on our website for memberships and donations: http://www.industrialmuseum.com/giving-donations.html

Today is "Giving Tuesday" please consider making a donation to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum.  The industrial his...
12/01/2020
Make a donation to AAIM

Today is "Giving Tuesday" please consider making a donation to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum. The industrial history of the Attleboro area is told in the exhibits and display cases at the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum. Documents, photographs, tools, machines and peoples stories make up this gem of the Attleboro area. Thank You
Follow this link to our website and give if you are able.
http://www.industrialmuseum.com/giving-donations.html

Donate to the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum make a donation online

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum will be closed on Thursday November 26,2020 to celebrate Thanksgiving.  May you all...
11/25/2020

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum will be closed on Thursday November 26,2020 to celebrate Thanksgiving. May you all have a great day and stay safe and healthy. We will re-open on Friday at 10 am.

Usually around now the  Industrial Museum would be posting some wonderful photos of last month's Jewelry City Steampunk ...
11/13/2020

Usually around now the Industrial Museum would be posting some wonderful photos of last month's Jewelry City Steampunk Festival but this year it is not possible for an in-person festival. Do not fret, under a new umbrella of Steampunks of New England a virtual festival will run from November 20th through November 22nd.
Programming and performances will be shown on the Steampunks of New England Youtube Page and Teleparty Use the link provided for the Steampunks of New England Youtube Page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj8RDnIvs6zf5T0pmmmgtfg/featured
Programming can be found by following this link: https://jewelrycitysteampunk.com/schedule/
Just a few photos from last year.

Thanks to Lisa Doucet, a local weaver who gave a demonstration at the Museum this past Saturday. The small, social dista...
10/22/2020

Thanks to Lisa Doucet, a local weaver who gave a demonstration at the Museum this past Saturday. The small, social distanced, mask wearing audience enjoyed her work. Her demonstration and presentation was part of Attleboro's Big Read selection "Circe" by Madeline Miller. Circe was banished to an island by her father, Helios Titan God of the sun, for her poor judgment and the story tells of her tales in banishment. Did I mention that Circe was a weaver and a witch? A great read. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Watch the live broadcast thanks to our friends at AACS15 on the YouTube link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7JrXW6EC0M&t=17s

09/25/2020
Attleboro Area Industrial Museum on Google

Just updated our hours for Saturdays, the Museum will be open by reservation only on Saturdays.

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum has changed our hours to "By Reservation Only" for Saturday. Please call ahead and reserve a time to visit the Museum. Our goal is for visits to have a positive and safe visit.

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum is currently in our Annual Membership Drive.  Each year we publish our the "Clerest...
09/16/2020

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum is currently in our Annual Membership Drive. Each year we publish our the "Clerestory" our newsletter for members. It gives a snapshot of what has happened over the past year. This year has been like no other for us all and we are behind our usual June/July time frame. Look over our "Clerestory" 2020 and if you are interested in becoming a member follow the link to our membership page on our website. http://www.industrialmuseum.com/membership.html

"Passport to History"  2020 is back and extended through the end of the year.  Come pick up your passport at the Industr...
09/02/2020

"Passport to History" 2020 is back and extended through the end of the year. Come pick up your passport at the Industrial Museum on Thursday or Friday.

Due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and related safety guidelines, some sites will not be open for the remainder of 2020 to ensure the well-being of staff, volunteers, and visitors. Before visiting a site, please call or check their website and/or social media for the most up-to-date information as their days and hours of operation are subject to change.

Re-Opening of the Attleboro Area Industrial MuseumThe Industrial Museum is now re-opened with COVID 19 modifications.  W...
08/12/2020

Re-Opening of the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum

The Industrial Museum is now re-opened with COVID 19 modifications. We are open Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 4 pm for remainder of the month of August.
A few modifications including; enter the Museum at the Union Street door and exit the Museum at the parking lot door, call ahead reservations to our Museum number 508-222-3918 you will be met upon arrival, do a hands free temperature check, practice social distancing and wear a mask or face covering, follow the one way route around the Museum and Exhibits and limit group size to no larger than eight people.

We have touch less hand sanitizer stations available for your use throughout the Museum

No Saturday or Thursday Night at the Museum hours at this time. We will re-access at the end of August. Admission is free. Donations are graciously accepted. You are invited to visit and experience the history of Industry in the Attleboro area. You can call the museum with questions at 508-222-3918 or email at [email protected]. We are on the web at Facebook-Attleboro Area Industrial Museum and at www.industrialmuseum.com

It is with great sadness that we share the sudden passing of Bill Adair.  Bill was a past president of the Board of Dire...
07/28/2020
William “Bill” H. Adair, Jr. - Perry-McStay Funeral Home

It is with great sadness that we share the sudden passing of Bill Adair. Bill was a past president of the Board of Directors and an invaluable member of the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum for over twenty years. He was our current Board Secretary and always supportive of the Museum in all its endeavors. His banking expertise was an asset but most of all his ready smile and kindness made all who worked and knew him feel at ease. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.Read more in the link below. https://perrymcstay.com/william-bill-h-adair-jr/

William “Bill” H. Adair, Jr. 77, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. He was the beloved husband of Meredith P. (Guillet) Adair for 56 years. Born in Attleboro, he was the son of the late William H. and Margaret (King) Adair. Bill is survived by his wife Merry and their children: Paul...

Hello all!  We are working to re-open the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum.  We want your experience to be safe and posi...
07/02/2020

Hello all! We are working to re-open the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum. We want your experience to be safe and positive. Just a few details remain so keep a watch on this page, our website and other media like AACS and the Sun Chronicle for "how and when"
We will participate again this year in the "Passport to History" program.
Check this link for more information: https://www.oldcolonyhistorymuseum.org/explore/passport-to-history

It has been shared that our website was not functioning correctly.  It seems we had been hacked my malware and the malwa...
06/12/2020

It has been shared that our website was not functioning correctly. It seems we had been hacked my malware and the malware was redirecting our site through a search engine to a drug company. The malware has been removed and the site seems to be working . Google may take a week to update it's link to our website, please be patience.
The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum has begun to prepare for a new normal. We hope to have new safety protocols and visitation procedures completed and shared on this site and our industrialmuseum.com site as well as in local media outlets.
Thank you for your patience.
Just a few photos of the past and the present.

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum lost a wonderful supporter, contributor and friend, Louise Baumgartel on Wednesday ...
04/28/2020
FLANAGAN: No quit in AHS '39 reunions

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum lost a wonderful supporter, contributor and friend, Louise Baumgartel on Wednesday April 22, 2020. She was 98 and through her stories, documents and artifacts has helped the Industrial Museum tell Attleboro's story. Louise would stop by the Museum and share her recollections of her life in Attleboro. It was cherished time when she visited the Museum and donated her memories stories, letters and artifacts. Her smile will be missed.

She is mentioned in Mark Flanagan article from 2010

https://www.thesunchronicle.com/attleboro/flanagan-no-quit-in-ahs-39-reunions/article_24e0d7d5-9a0b-5fb0-bf84-f49fb44d7430.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

Please about her life:
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thesunchronicle/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=196076012

Anna (Silva) Bachman made it. So did Janet (Hardaway) Bandelli, Gerri (Oliver) Beauregard, Alice (Bescherer) Breeze, Vincent Coady, Freeman Gard, Kenneth and Marie Gavin, Mildred (Fortier) Mounteer, Beatrice (Veillette) Peck,

This is our the Industrial Museum's  "History to Go" season, that is  in a normal year.  Third grade students in Attlebo...
04/24/2020

This is our the Industrial Museum's "History to Go" season, that is in a normal year. Third grade students in Attleboro learn about the the history of industry in the Attleboro area. I am going to share some the the main parts on our page. Let me know what you think.
Part One- The Wampanoag to the North Rehoboth Purchase.

The Industrial Museum got this great article in a recent email from The Smithsonian Magazine.  Very interesting and let ...
04/17/2020
Cook These Quarantine-Friendly World War I Recipes

The Industrial Museum got this great article in a recent email from The Smithsonian Magazine. Very interesting and let us know here if you try these. Stay safe and healthy.

An online exhibition from the National WWI Museum and Memorial features recipes detailed in 1918 cookbook

04/11/2020

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum is sad to share the passing of Dr. Robert W. Keeler in Yarmouthport, Ma on Sunday April 5, 2020 at age 99.

Dr. Keeler and his wife Daris were long time supporters and contributors to the Industrial Museum. Their most recent contribution and gift to the Museum library was "An Old Man's New Bio or the Keelers of Attleboro 1800-1987" a labor of love completed over ten years chronicling his family and their connection to the city of Attleboro.

On a personal note, Dr. Keeler was our family pediatrician, I have great memories of his thorough care. One house call he made to a ten-year-old with pneumonia is as clear as it happened yesterday. He checked me out and then when my mother went into the kitchen, he told me to do what my mother told me, or I would be going to the hospital. He said it with a smile, but I knew he was serious. I did not go to the hospital and remember his kind fatherly manner. Dr. Keeler was a great person and will be missed.

Obituary from the Sun Chronicle.
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thesunchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=robert-keeler&pid=195930586&utm_source=MarketingCloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ObitShare_PowerInbox_20191212&utm_content=ViewObituary&sfmc_id=97545739

Address

42 Union St
Attleboro, MA
02703-2948

General information

The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum was incorporated on July 4, 1975 as the City of Attleboro's Bicentennial project. The idea of creating an industrial museum for the area had been in discussions for decades, but only became possible with the availability of the building housed at 42 Union Street, the Attleboro Refining Company. In 1899, Harold D. Baker and his brother George W. Baker, both of Providence, Rhode Island, formed a partnership to establish the Attleboro Refining Company in Attleboro, Massachusetts. It specialized in the refining of gold, silver and copper byproducts. The refinery followed established refining methods used at that time known as a stripping process. The process dated back to the late 18th Century. Base metals such as copper and zinc were eaten by a compound-acid solution. The precious metals underwent succeeding operations where they were reduced to a certain degree of fineness. By 1907, however, the Bakers were convinced that better methods were available that would involve lower costs. They experimented with the then-existent electrochemical equipment available and finally succeeded in adapting the ELECTROLYTIC process to jewelers' scrap. Theirs was the first refinery in New England to do so. The process underwent continuous improvement and development where gold was finally purified to .9991/2 fine and every trace of silver or other precious metal was re-claimed in the chlorination and succeeding copperas processes. Throughout the years four additions were added and on June 26, 1968, Handy & Harman Refining Group, Inc. purchased the Attleboro Refining Company. In November 1973, Handy & Harman left 42 Union Street for a new facility located on Townsend Road in the "new" Attleboro Industrial Park. On November 29, 1976, Handy & Harman turned the 42 Union Street building over to the Chamber of Commerce of the Attleboro Area who acted as caretaker of the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum, Inc. The building was in great disrepair when donated to the Museum so, for the first few years, the Board of Directors and Incorporators were concerned primarily with the rehabilitation of the building and grounds. The refinery building is considered to be the most important object in the Museum's collection.

Opening Hours

Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(508) 222-3918

Website

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Comments

We are really grateful to people in museum, sorry i didnt remember name, was busy with infant . They saw us checking on hours, museum was closed. But they invited us in! It was amazing tour, my guys were having so much fun! And really impressive collections, live history in front of you!
Hello New England history buffs. I visited this museum today and it is amazing. Very complete and well presented - all about the early industries and settlement of Attleboro and surrounding communities. The docent - sorry I didn't get name - know her stuff and we talked a lot. She demonstrated the old jewelry making machines. Their displays are so relevant to today's Attleboro landscape. Free admission, but please donate what you can. Most importantly, please visit this charming local historic museum.
Made this key chain yesterday at the museum. Taking the passport challenge by visiting 8 local museums, historical societies. The Attleboro museum is fabulous, what a hidden gem!!