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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tanks for the Memories

If you are a fan of military history, this museum in Hudson, MA, is a must-see place to visit. It's relatively new and opened less than 2 years ago. Nothing seen from this exterior view prepares visitors for what's inside this very large facility. Certainly, we were surprised.

The American Heritage Museum (AHM) is housed in a building space that covers over 65,000 square feet in Hudson, MA. Its address is listed as Main Street, but, you won't see it on that road as it's set very far off the road, a good quarter of a mile in. After seeing the sign and turning, we wondered if we had read it right because we drove up such a long access road. 

Unless you are specifying looking for this museum, like we were, its purpose isn't obvious. Unlike other museums, there's no identifying signage on the outside of the building, which resembles a massive warehouse. Once we entered, it became very clear that this would be quite an experience. And, it did not disappoint. The museum showcases an amazing number of tanks, automobiles, aircraft, and other wartime machinery with interactive exhibits, short films, and helpful docents. As with any museum, there's an admission fee, discounted for veterans, seniors, active military and children (although this is not a museum for the very young.)

The AHM is a branch of the Collings Foundation, headquartered in Stowe, MA, a non-profit educational institution founded in 1979 and dedicated to the preservation, exhibition and interaction of historical artifacts. (Since 1989, a major focus of the Foundation has been the Wings of Freedom Tour of WWII aircraft. In 32 years, the tour has made more than 3,500 visits to airports across the U.S. and stopped in Nashua, NH, again this past July.)

Getting permission to build the museum became contentious in 2015 when the Stowe Planning Board rejected the Foundation's building application. The board was concerned about placing such a large facility on land zoned residentialThe Foundation cited a part of Massachusetts General Law (the Dover Amendment) that exempts agricultural, religious, and educational corporations from some zoning restrictions stating the museum’s purpose was completely educational. An agreement reached in July 2017 allowed construction to start in 2018 and the museum opened in May 2019.

After paying admission, we entered a room with bench seating to view an informative film about the nation’s early history and involvement in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. This introduction included re-enactments and famous scenes showing America's early battles for freedom.
When the film ended, doors opened leading visitors to the WWI Trench Experience. This presentation is presented in a room-size diorama and we stood in a trench that runs the length of the room. Images are projected to recreate Western front trenches at the Battle of Saint Mihiel, the only offensive launched solely by the U. S. Army in WW I. The exhibit's narrator represents nurse Helen Dore Boylston of New Bedford, MA, who nursed the wounded at a front-line field hospital and wrote about her experiences in a 1927 book, Sister: The War Diary of a Nurse.
Show car used by Adolf Hitler for parades
Next, comes the War Clouds exhibit which provides an educational interpretation of the rise of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Exhibits here show the Nazi rise to power, invasions through Europe and Imperial Japan’s attacks through China and the Pacific. Exhibits include soldier's uniforms and other historical items, including the show car Adolf Hitler used for parades. This exhibit ends in 1941 with a film sequence showing the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Afterwards, we walked through to an enormous, aircraft-hangar sized space with a viewing balcony. It ran along much of the second floor giving an overall view of the entire main floor.

Soon after the U.S. entered WW II, large and small companies changed production to support the war effort. Automobile maker Ford focused production on aircraft, primarily B-24 Liberators, the most mass produced aircraft in American history. The Cadillac division of General Motors made components and engines for tanks and armored vehicles. The company also stopped all civilian car production for the Buick model and switched to making engines for the Liberators and tanks and armored vehicles as well. 
Military artifacts are arranged chronologically and grouped under major campaigns and theaters of war. There are numerous tanks that have been completely refurbished and now look more like showroom models than the weapons of war that they once were. 
More than half of the items displayed are from the WW II era. Also represented are WW I, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War and others. The majority of display items are American, German, Russian, or British. Many of these restored tanks and vehicles represent the only ones on public display in North America; most include photos of the item in use during a specific conflict.

Where Did All the Artifacts Come From?
Many once were in the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation collection in Portola Valley, CA, founded in 1975 by Jacques Littlefield. It closed in 2018 after his death, and many items went to other museums. Littlefield, a Stanford University graduate and former Hewlett Packard engineer had amassed a $30 million collection of over 240 military vehicles that included 30 tanks, 13 armored personnel carriers, 12 tank destroyers, as well as reconnaissance vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, artillery, and the propeller from the Lusitania (a British ocean liner sunk in May 1915 by a German U-boat)It was considered the world’s largest privately held collection.
Littlefield had the fortune needed for his interest. He was a multi-millionaire whose great-grandfather founded the Utah Construction Co., which helped build the Hoover and Grand Coulee dams. His father was a member of the Forbes 400 Richest People in America. Littlefield acquired and restored the vehicles along with a team of top mechanics. Most were stored in a private museum on his 470-acre CA ranch where he held open houses. Adhering to state and federal laws, none of tanks had functional firing apparatus.
1944 Panther tank after it was pulled from a Polish river bottom

Panther tank after thousands of hours of restoration
The pride of Littlefield's collection was a 1944 German Panzer V Panther tank scuttled after it fell through the ice and sank in a Polish river during WW II. This tank was one of the most feared of its day with frontal armor and a long-barreled gun which destroyed Allied tanks at long ranges. The 49-ton tank was recovered after 50 years on the river bottom. Mechanics worked five years to restore it by rebuilding the hull, fabricating armor, rewiring, and rebuilding the engine. It was completed in 2009, weeks after Littlefield's death from colon cancer at age 59. Today, it's the most completely restored and fully operational Panther and the only one on display anywhere in the U.S. It's also one of the rarest military vehicles in the world.

In keeping with Littlefield’s wishes to preserve the collection, his family donated a large number of tanks, armored vehicles and other military items to the Collings Foundation. Some of these were auctioned off netting over $9 million that funded creation of the AHM to display those remaining plus other military artifacts. The AHM displays over 85 vehicles from the Littlefield collection.

We were able to walk through the large space at our own pace without restrictions or time limits. Volunteer docents, which include veterans, were on hand to answer questions and provide further information. Short films and exhibit displays provided more details.
Military artifacts are not the only items on display. There are several planes as well. 
The museum also address more recent conflicts such as The Cold War displaying a piece of  the Berlin Wall and also The War on Terror with a film showing the attacks and collapse of the World Trade Centers in NYC. A twisted beam from one of the twin towers is part of this exhibit.

The AHM is a hidden gem that’s truly unique even to visitors like ourselves who are not deep into military history. We found it difficult not to be impressed with the armaments of warfare after touring this facility. The presentations were excellent considering the grim subject matter. Most likely we won't make a return visit as there are so many places to visit and time is always limited, but we will highly recommend it to others looking for a very unusual New England museum.

The post title is a tribute to American entertainer Bob Hope who made 57 tours for the United Service organizations (USO) between 1941 and 1991 entertaining active military members worldwide. In 1997, the U.S. Congress passed a bill making Hope an honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. His signature theme song was Thanks for the Memories introduced in a 1938 film, The Big Broadcast of 1938, and sung by Hope and Shirley Ross. It was composed by  composed by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin and won the Academy Award for best Original Song.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Friday Funnies

They're back in Nashua, NH — the 2021 Downtown Scarecrows.

More than two dozen local businesses, nonprofits and schools are participating this year, which seems a bit less than previous years. Here's a sampling of ones on Main Street this week.
Yes, there's more and these are only a handful of colorful and fun scarecrows which will remain in place for the next several weeks leading up to Halloween. On our downtown walk last night, it quickly was becoming too dark to take photos of all.
Unfortunately, there isn't an entry from Clocktower Place, the mill apartment complex where we live. For a couple of years, we were joined by a couple other residents in fashioning an entry. However, due to lack of overall resident interest, building management hasn't participated for the past couple of years. 
There is a $75 entry charge to those participating. The only items provided are a wood frame and a burlap head. Costumes and other decorative items are provided by the participants. Some of the scarecrows are quite imaginative showing a lot of creative effort. 
Online voting ends on Halloween and winners will be announced Nov. 1. The voting page didn't show any actual prizes, so it may just be bragging rights again this year. 
This is not the entire downtown scarecrow collection. More photos will be posted next week.

Blogging has taken a backseat to other things this week. We've been staying close to home, so there's a backlog of adventures to post about. These include visits to a military museum, watch and clock museum, hot air balloons, historic inn, and a very unusual roadside attraction. 

Meanwhile, fall foliage is peaking in northern parts of the state. We're planning a weekend road trip, weather permitting.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Look for scarecrows, pumpkins and autumn colors

Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday Funnies

No, we didn't find a pot of gold, but instead saw some gold in Nashua, NH. 
This early evening view outside our apt window was quite unexpected, after a no rain day
It’s a popular myth that where a rainbow ends there's buried gold. According to one legend, Vikings living in Ireland, looted, plundered, and buried treasure throughout the countryside. When they left, some treasure remained. Leprechauns found it and knew the Vikings had stolen which was wrong, so this made leprechauns mistrust everyone, Viking or not. To make sure no humans could take away what they now considered their gold, it was reburied underground in pots all over Ireland. No reports of anyone finding a pot of gold have resulted.
We didn't see the full arch which was fading fast, but still, it was a brief, beautiful sighting.

Here's a few (there are many more) rainbow info gleaned from online sources:
  • Double rainbows occurs when light gets reflected twice inside water droplets. When this happens, the second one appears above the main one, usually lighter and its colors are reversed (red on the inner section, violet on the outer).
  • Rainbows are seen more at day's end when the sun is at a more favorable angle.
  • Rainbows can appear in the evening and are called a moon bow or lunar rainbow. These are created when light reflected by the moon hits water droplets in the air.
  • Rainbows can appear when there’s no rain; water droplets can be in the air from mist, waterfall overspray, a fountain or when it’s dewy outside and the sun is at the correct angle of no higher than about 42 degrees of altitude.
  • No two people see the exact rainbow and your eyes each see a different one. 
  • Rainbows have more than the seven colors of the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet; red the longest and violet the shortest. There are also up to 1 million invisible colors that human eyes don’t see.
  • Rainbows form full circles. We only see arches since standing on the ground we see light reflected by raindrops above the horizon, not the rainbow’s hidden half. 
A post about rainbows has to end with a couple of rainbow songs. Many folks enjoy Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Others prefer Kermit the frog singing The Rainbow Connection included in the Muppet Movie (1979).

Whatever, your preference, both are enjoyable songs (frogs have an edge on this blog).

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Go out & enjoy the weather, even without a rainbow

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

What's (Been) Home Cooking

It's been months since my last at home cooking post, back in early May. While, we've taken several road trips in recent months, we've done much home cooking in between. Looking through my photo files, it seems I always forget to take a before shot and then remember after there's little or no dinner left to show.

Despite the variety of restaurants in downtown Nashua within walking distance of our apt, we only dine out once every couple of weeks. It's because we eat out when on our road trips and being home and cooking a meal is enjoyable. As for take-out, I honestly can't recall the last time and, most likely, it was for a pizza delivery. 
Broccoli salad with dried cranberries and almonds
We like salads, but more so variety and this broccoli salad has been a big favorite. We've enjoyed it as a side dish many times with chicken and fish.
Chicken tenders
It was great when paired with these home-made chicken tenders that were baked with a mustard, mayonnaise, and toasted panko coating.
Chicken breasts with spinach
This one-pan dinner consisted of chicken breasts, spinach, mushrooms and shallots, cooked separately but in the same pan. The baby Yukon potatoes were roasted in the toaster oven.
Vegetable frittata
Here's a great way to use up veggies like zucchini, peppers, scallions, spinach by making a frittata. The best part about this dish is that it's like a quiche, but crustless. The leftovers are also good for next day's breakfast.  
Riced cauliflower
Do you recognize what's in the above photo? Yes, it's riced cauliflower as last week I decided to try a cauliflower pizza crust and, of course, home made pizza is the best. Grenville is on a low carb eating plan (we dislike the D word). 

Here's an overview of the process: get a fresh cauliflower, break into florets, pulse in batches in a food processor until fine. (Yes, you will find little white pieces all over at clean-up time.) Steam in a basket or microwave, in the oven or in a pan over the stove  method tried this time). 
Cauliflower pizza crust 
Drain well by using a tea towel. Mix with an egg and seasonings (oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder) and cheeses (Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella). Transfer to parchment paper, form into a pizza crust circle and pre-bake (400 degrees) without toppings.
Cauliflower pizza 
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven, add your favorite toppings, and cook for another 10 minutes. Above is the finished result. The crust was not as dry as others seemed in online videos. (I didn't squeeze the cauliflower after roasting on the stovetop based on advice in a video, this wasn't the best decision.) Using a tea towel next time to squeeze out more water.

Would I try it again? Yes, as with most recipes I will give it a second try
Does it taste like regular pizza? Not really, cauliflower is bland, more seasonings next time

I've made regular pizza dough and this process was more time consuming from cutting into florets, ricing in batches (then cleaning the food processor), steaming, draining, mixing and pre-baking. You can buy pre-made cauliflower crusts or riced cauliflower which would eliminate some steps. However, a pre-made cauliflower crust in a local supermarket was double the cost of buying a fresh cauliflower on sale, and fresh is always better (usually).
Crockpot roast pork and squash
Now is the time of year when our crockpot comes out of its pantry hiding. The above shows dinner last week —roast pork, butternut squash, carrots, onions and a side of mashed cauliflower. (The photo would have been better if taken when the meal was first plated.)
Ice Box cake
While it's not the prettiest looking dessert, leftovers of this ice box cake never lasted long when it was made in recent months. We invite friends over to help avoid leftovers. 

This no-bake dessert is a childhood throwback. I can recall when my mother made it using stove-cooked pudding and whole milk not instant pudding that used for mine. While good, it definitely wasn't like mom's. Basically, it's a simply layering graham crackers and pudding which is refrigerated before serving with a dollop of whipped cream. There's many variations online. 
Blueberry zucchini bread 
Zucchini bread is delicious, and better with add-ins like blueberries and chocolate chips. These do get a bit messy, if you are like us and cut the bread while it's still warm — but so good.

Sorry, there's no sampling here, unless someone can find an app for that. There's no recipes or links as there's so many recipe variations either in everyone's favorite cookbooks or online.

There isn't an air fryer appliance in our kitchen. Counter space is at a premium in an apartment kitchen and (for now) the crockpot works well. 

How about You — Do you have a favorite kitchen appliance?
If you enjoy home cooking too, do you have any favorite meals ?

Monday, October 4, 2021

Puzzler Solved

OK, there was no fooling most of you on this one. 
BIG kudos to Marcia for coming up with the answer first. 

Now, you can see what was going on — a large truck cab being towed by a big tow truck.

As you can tell (or not) I am easily amused in the car; no was not driving, just a passenger.

Thanks for playing along, everyone.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Friday Funnies

Here is a puzzler for everyone — Can you tell if these trucks coming or going, maybe both?
Here's another view, and a hint, enlarge image to see the traffic and road signs.
What's going on? If you figure it out, as always, there's no prizes, just braggin' rights.
Photo solution posted next week.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.
Fall weather is here, finally, so get outside.
We're going to New England's oldest family fair.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Murals in Nashua, NH

Not all of our adventures are ones that take us out-of-town. There's a lot to see here in Nashua, NH, where the city is working to beautify the downtown areas with murals.

By definition, a mural is a piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces so that it's made part of the area. There's nearly 30 wall murals in and around the city, most are painted on outside walls, a few are inside buildings.
Nostalgia was done a few years ago in Main St to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chase Building on which it was painted. Years ago, it contained were three theaters — the Tremont, State and Star Theaters, all of which were gone before we relocated here. Like in many areas, there's no longer a single movie theater within the city.
The mural shows scenes from several classic movies: The Blog (The Three Stooges), Gone with the Wind and It’s A Wonderful Life. We had just relocated to Nashua and watched as this mural was being created over the course of a few weeks. The level of detail is amazing.
This unnamed mural shows the former Nashua Manufacturing Company, once the city's largest mill complex, which is now Clocktower Apartments, where we reside along with over 900 other residents. The building is located just east of this mural on the side of a downtown music store. The mural was done in 2011 by Barbara Andrews, who I read was a city resident
Vivian's Dream is a massive, 40 x 35 foot tall historic mural that depicts West Pearl Street in 1909 with the Tremont House Hotel in the foreground and is painted on a wall on West Pearl St. 

At the turn of the century, this street was the city's economic hub with shops, restaurants, coffee houses, grocery stores, and the city's first high school. The Tremont House Hotel was the "place to stay" in Nashua. It had numerous shops on the ground floor as well as a livery stable in back. The 2014 mural was done by Barbara Andrews and named for a friend, Vivian, who ran a dress shop in another building owned by her family just up the street.
Courtyard Garden is on West Pearl Street and Garden Street on the side of the Fortin-Gage building. It extends the small Garden Street courtyard into a European town plaza and was done in 1996 by artist Frances Nutter (couldn't locate information on the artist).
This unnamed and uncompleted mural (above) is along a wall below Water Street which is near Clocktower Apts. It shows a few current and former downtown businesses and some of the art looks unfinished. (I couldn't find information on the artist or group that created these.)
Two of my favorite murals are painted on the rear and side walls of adjacent and popular Main Street eateries, both of which we have dining in. 

Martha's Muse (left) is on the back wall of Martha's Exchange and shows a woman holding a mug of beer surrounded by treats and a burst of colors. The piece was done in four weeks in over 100 hours, entirely in aerosols, or spray paint. The mural captures some of the restaurant's history, which started as Martha’s Sweet Shoppe in 1932. A restaurant with seats and tables was added and eventually a brewery.

Poseidon's Grasp (right) is on the side wall os a seafood eatery named Surf. Its location is adjacent to what will be the city's performing arts center, which is currently under construction. 

Both murals were done by Manny Ramirez, artist-in-residence for Positive Street Art. This local nonprofit organization was founded in 2012 by Ramirez and his wife, fellow artist Cecilia Ulibarri. Its mission is to bring art to urban areas in a positive way. The group has been responsible for completing many of Nashua's most colorful downtown murals in the past several years. 
Dance of the Herons is the newest city mural and features several images of great blue herons. This large mural is painted on a building that was formerly part of the Nashua Manufacturing Company, which is located adjacent to the Nashua River where herons have been seen. 
The 120 feet long by 12 feet high mural was completed at the end of August by Columbian artist Felipe Ortiz, who is associated with Beyond Walls in Lynn, MA. The City of Nashua partnered with this nonprofit organization to enhance the downtown riverfront. This is the first of future river art to be done under the city's $15 million Riverfront Master Plan which will also add walkways and lighting, clear invasive vegetation, and install a kayak dock. 

(To see some amazing wall murals, check out what Beyond Walls did in the city of Lynn, MA. A few years ago, the nonprofit group held a Mural Festival in which 20 graphic artists painted 15 walls over the course of 10 days. You'll find many of the resulting artwork online.)
This mural (don't know its name) was also done by Positive Street Art muralists a few years ago and pays tribute to service personnel. It's located on the wall of a city parking lot, appropriately nearby to a veterans housing facility.

Thanks for taking this short look of some public art in Nashua, NH. There's many more murals around the city as well as sculptures and future explorations will be taken.

Just wondering — have you also gone on local explorations where you live?

Monday, September 27, 2021

Final Anniversary Adventures

This is the last post (promise) on our August anniversary road trip in NH and VT. We've been to other places since then, including a roadside attraction in MA and a balloon festival in PA, details in future posts. 

There's a region in Northern CA widely known as Silicon Valley. Perhaps less well known is that in the mid-19th century in New England, Windsor, VT, and surrounding regions became known as Precision Valley.

Precision Valley ran along the Connecticut River, from Springfield, VT, to Hartford, CT. In the 1850s, electricity didn't exist and water power was what enabled precision machinery to operate
The village of Windsor, VT, became an anchor in the Precision Valley due to a gun factory on the banks of the Mill Brook that became a forerunner in the field of interchangeable precision manufacturing. 
Today, the former Robbins & Lawrence Company gun factory is home to the American Precision Museum, and its unique collection of machine tools spanning the first 100 years of precision manufacturing. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001, the building is significant for its architectural integrity reflecting the size, scale, and operation of a 19th century New England factory.

Richard Lawrence had moved to VT in 1838 at age 21 and later formed a gun-making shop with Nicanor Kendall. In 1846, local businessman Samuel Robbins urged them to bid on a United States army order for 10,000 rifles for the Mexican-American War. They got the bid because their bid of $11.90 was ten cents per gun lower than competing bids. And, convinced the government parts interchangeability could be used in building the rifle.
Lawrence and Robbins bought Kendall out and formed a partnership, buying land and building a factory and machine shop, hiring workers and mechanics, inventing new machines, adapting old ones, and creating the new technology of producing precise interchangeable parts to fill the order. The system of mass production introduced at the factory was so efficient that the order was done 18 months early; the company was awarded a second contract for 15,000 more rifles. 
The four-story factory had high ceilings and wood construction. Its wood floors accommodated heavy equipment for a large workforce. The narrow width and expansive windows provided plenty of natural light. An 18-foot iron and wooden water wheel in the basement powered a network of belts and shafting to operate the factory's machine tools. These could cut rifle wood and metal parts with accuracy and consistency speeding up the production process.
F. Howe & R. Lawrence

Robbins & Lawrence was one of the first companies to use custom metal lathing machines to create parts so precise they could be interchanged. This was a major advance in weapon making and manufacturing in general. Shop superintendent Frederick W. Howe was responsible for many of the company’s innovations in machine-tool design and along with Lawrence developed a milling machine that was later commercialized for use by other firms.

When the war ended in 1848, R&L found that machine tools could be used to produce other items. These tools created precise custom parts for machinery that became standard throughout the U.S. The concept of interchangeable parts was applied to mass production of consumer goods like shoes, watches, sewing machines, typewriters and later bicycles and automobiles producing them faster and in greater quantities.

Revolving hammer pistol
R&L produced in mid-1850s 
In 1851, American contractors and manufacturing firms including Robbins & Lawrence exhibited at the Crystal Palace Exposition in London, a worldwide celebration of arts and technology. The Windsor-made rifles won a metal and the British Parliament sent a group to the VT factory to study the American System of interchangeable machine-made parts.

Afterwards, Britain placed an order for 25,000 Enfield rifles to be made in Windsor, also ordering 141 machine tools to equip an armory being built near Enfield. Robbins & Lawrence became one of the first American companies to export new technology from America to Europe reversing the previous direction.

Ironically, the awarding of this major contract also led to the company’s downfall. In 1857, the Robbins & Lawrence Company went bankrupt and closed. The company, which had bought machinery to produce the rifles, was left with 12,000 undeliverable muskets when the Crimean War ended suddenly in 1856.

The Robbins & Lawrence Company employed over 150 men at its peak. These machinists and engineers were able to apply their skills to tool companies in the area and beyond. Even in its decline, the company’s technical innovations guaranteed Windsor, VT, a chapter in the history of the American Industrial Revolution. It also played a role in fostering the careers of those who implemented Vermont’s machine tool industry in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
After it closed, the plant and equipment were bought in 1858 by Ebenezer Lamson operating as Lamson, Goodnow & Yale which made sewing machines. When the Civil War erupted in 1861, he secured a government contract for 50,000 long-arm rifles and re-tooled to produce rifles and machinery for gun makers like Colt, Remington, Sharps Rifle, and the Springfield Armory.
The most common firearm for Union soldiers was the Special Model 1861 rifle-musket based on the British Enfield rifle made by Robbins & Lawrence in the 1850s. 
During the fall and winter of 1861-62, production soared. Lamson recruited skilled machinists and gun makers from around New England. Gas lighting was installed; more than 300 men worked in shifts around the clock. By spring 1862, orders for gun-making machines slowed. Machinists in the Windsor factory began receiving orders for lathes, drill presses, barrel turning machines, and various types of milling machines. 
By 1870, Lamson sold the arms making tools and machinery to Winchester and Smith & 
Wesson and continued as a manufacturer of machine tools for a number of years changing the firm’s name to the Windsor Manufacturing Company. 

The heritage of the former Robbins & Lawrence Company continued with several companies using the old buildings and tools. The property was sold to the Windsor Electric Light Company and, in 1926, was sold again to the Central Vermont Public Service Company which proposed razing it in 1964 and prompting Windsor resident, Edwin Battison to form plans for a museum. 
Battison ↑, curator of Mechanical Engineering at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, secured the building in 1966 to house not only the American Precision Museum in 1966, but his collection of historic machine tools, related books, and archival materials. He served as its director until 1991.
The American System of Manufacturing had its roots in firearms production. Notable features included the extensive use of interchangeable parts and production mechanization. The system was first fully developed in armories and known as armory practice. 
The Robbins & Lawrence Company and its successors played a crucial role in this process.
Folks, this was yet a(nother) long-ish post about a subject that may not appeal to all. Many of our recent road trips have included visits to new-to-us museums. I enjoy reading about them and sharing this information. Hopefully, some of you, will enjoy reading about them here. If you did, there's more recent museum visit posts to come, but later (promise).