A Plea For Shaped Information

| September/October 1989

303 Fisher Road Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420

I recently had the pleasurable experience of presenting a paper on the ice harvesting industry in Massachusetts to the joint meeting of the New England Chapters of the Society of Industrial Archeologists. As its name implies, the organization spends considerable time on delving into the historical facts of the industries of the United States.

The New England Chapters have done considerable extensive studying of some of our practically unheard of industrial sites in the area. Some of the current studies involve the Black-stone Canal, the Forestdale Ironworks, etc. and brought to light many interesting facts pertinent to the engines and other forms of motive power used either to operate or in conjunction with these sites.

After listening to some of the doctoral theses that were presented by some of the younger participants, I found I learned a tremendous amount of information in how to obtain historical information. While I, myself, and my wife are both research oriented when it comes to matters we become involved with, I read in practically each issue of GEM someone who is attempting to obtain information pertinent to one or more industries that were involved primarily in the manufacturing of engines. I am sure that within the organization there are members who are as interested in certain industrial areas as we are in our particular narrow field of engines and motive power.

I use 'SIA' as an example because of my recent involvment with them and because I am a member of the Southern Chapter, but I am certain that our GEM readers could enlighten us to other local, state or national groups who, though not solely engine or power oriented, could enhance our knowledge with information that they already have stored in their files and very posssibly we could bring to light other data that they have not yet been able to complete.

I would be interested in personally hearing of any of these groups, but I am certain that many other GEM readers would have an equal interest.