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The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee tells the story of innovation and enterprise creation in Milwaukee during the Century of Progress–the hundred years starting after the conclusion of the US Civil War. It was a remarkable era. Milwaukee was one of the principal centers of industrial innovation in the United States and became known as “the Machine Shop of the World.”
As the name of the book implies, the book features the incredible machines built in the Milwaukee area during this period. In the process, it highlights the engineers who created these machines and summarizes the history of the numerous companies that helped the greater Milwaukee area achieve prominence in industrial design and manufacturing.
In telling the story of Milwaukee’s industrial history, the book discusses over one-hundred engineering accomplishments, summarizes individual stories of over seventy early Milwaukee companies, provides the biographies of dozens of engineering innovators, and discusses the significance of their engineering achievements. Richly illustrated, the book contains hundreds of photographs and drawings to help tell the story of industrial Milwaukee.
The stories of industrial Milwaukee are not just of historical curiosity. The engineering innovation that occurred during this period resulted in commerce that was essential to the development of the City and to the livelihood of thousands of its citizens. Many of these companies survive and several have grown to become major international firms. Their stories reveal important characteristics that may help to point the way toward enhanced innovation and commerce in the future.
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