Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Upcoming Lectures and Presentations

Michigan Technological University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology Program and the Department of Social Sciences will host a series of upcoming talks.

This Friday at noon, Erik Nordberg will present a talk in the Department of Social Sciences Brown Bag Lunch Series:
Nordberg Talks About Nordberg
Friday, March 19, noon.

Michigan Technological University Academic Office Building, rm 201.  

Erik Nordberg, university archivisit and a doctoral student in the Industrial Heritage and Archeology program, will present about the history and archival records of the Nordberg Manufacturing Company. This is one of the case studies Erik is pursuing in his dissertation research, which examines the challenges encountered by institutions who have been collecting archival records of industrial enterprises.

The Nordberg Manufacturing Company fabricated its first stationary steam engines in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1886. Its founder and chief engineer, Dr. Bruno V. Nordberg, had studied with the Allis company and patented an automatic cut-off governor which formed the basis for the new industrial venture. In the late 1890s, Nordberg began to produce large steam hoisting engines for the mining industry and quickly dominated the market for compound steam ore-crushing stamps, mining air compressors, pumps, and hoisting engines. The company later ventured into other lines, including diesel engines (some very large prime movers), cone crushers, ball mills, railroad track-laying machinery and equipment for the aeronautics industry.

This paper provides an illustrated overview of the company’s history, facilities, and products. In addition, the author examines the disposition of the company’s business records, including a large collection of engineering blueprints. Erik will detail the distribution, archival processing and use of these records over the last 30 years in four different locations.

The history of the Nordberg Manufacturing Company and the disposition of its archival records provide a useful case study of the value of such companies and collections to industrial archaeology. These collections, particularly the voluminous sets of dimensioned blueprint drawings, provide distinct curation challenges to collecting institutions and present mixed experiences in the actual and potential use by historians, restoration specialists, and other researchers.

Craig Wilson will give a talk as part of the public defense of his Master's Thesis in Industrial History and Archaeology:

From Ruin to Museum-Preserving and Interpreting the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad Engine House

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at 1 PM
Michigan Tech, Academic Office building, room 201

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