Technology on Display

Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860. New permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Opened November 21, 1986. The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History recently opened a new exhibit on the industrial revolution in the United States. Covering some 6,000 square feet, the exhibit treats the development of American technology and industry from 1790 to 1860. Its thesis is that in these 70

David Hounshell
Jan 25, 1987
Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860. New permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Opened November 21, 1986.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History recently opened a new exhibit on the industrial revolution in the United States. Covering some 6,000 square feet, the exhibit treats the development of American technology and industry from 1790 to 1860. Its thesis is that in these 70 short years, the United States was transformed from an agrarian nation into an industrial power in which the "engines of change had begun" to move the world.

Steven Lubar, a museum curator, and Brooke Hindle, former director of the museum and now historian emeritus, prepared Engines of Change, which is accompanied by a small catalog written by Lubar and a larger, handsomely prepared textbook co-authored by Hindle and Lubar and published by the Smithsonian Institution Press. The...