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Mill Talk: Civil War Massachusetts
Apr
18
7:00 PM19:00

Mill Talk: Civil War Massachusetts

Squarespace Mill Talk - Civil War Massachusetts.jpg

This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

Massachusetts recruited over sixty regiments during the Civil War and their records are preserved in the Massachusetts Archives.  Highlighting original materials from the files of the "Great War Governor,"  John Albion Andrew, the lecture presents the stories of three unique regiments:  the 20th "Harvard Regiment," the " Irish-American" 28th Regiment, and the  "African-American" 54th Regiment, featured in the motion picture Glory!  It also includes material on the technology that made the Civil War so devastating.

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Our speaker, Stephen Kenney, has been Director of the Commonwealth Museum, the Massachusetts state history museum, since 2002.  He has a Ph.D. from Boston University and has been a faculty member and administrator at several colleges including service as Interim President at Quincy College. He has been curator for several exhibits at the Commonwealth Museum, including Civil War Massachusetts, Sacco and Vanzetti, Road to Revolution: the Stamp Tax Crisis of 1765, and Freedom's Agenda: African-American Petitions to the Massachusetts Government.

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This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

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Mill Talk — Liberty Street: Anti-Slavery Activists in Waltham
Mar
28
7:00 PM19:00

Mill Talk — Liberty Street: Anti-Slavery Activists in Waltham

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FROM THE ORIGINAL DATE OF MARCH 21st.

Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

In the 1830s, Waltham's first middle-class residents built a neighborhood near the Common that came to include some of the town's most radical abolitionists. Starting as a small group, they became a force in the antislavery movement and drew abolitionist leaders to Waltham, including Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a house at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets, one man also harbored runaway slaves.

With the discovery of a largely untouched room papered with Civil War images from Harper's Magazine, historian Alex Green uncovered Waltham's hidden role in the Underground Railroad. Green will share his findings and what they mean for Waltham residents today.

Author Alex Green

Author Alex Green

Alex Green is a Fellow at Harvard Law School. A longtime Waltham resident, he is the former chairperson of the Waltham Historical Commission. His writing has appeared in The AtlanticThe Huffington Post, and Lapham's Quarterly, and he is a contributor to WBUR-NPR's Cognoscenti.

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This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

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Exhibit/Artist Opening - The Industrial Folk Art of Abraham Megerdichian
Mar
14
6:00 PM18:00

Exhibit/Artist Opening - The Industrial Folk Art of Abraham Megerdichian

This event, hosted by Mr. Robert Megerdichian, is really a full-throated expression of a son's love for his father, Abraham, sharing with all of us his machinist father's love for his work.

Abraham Megerdichian

Abraham Megerdichian

Abraham Megerdichian was born in 1923 to Armenian immigrants. After completing a special machinists' technical training secondary education and serving in the United States Navy in World War II, he then worked a full career at General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetts.

During the early 1960s, Mr. Megerdichian began using his 20 minute breaks to craft precious keepsakes for family and fiends. His earliest items were utilitarian, domestic, and full size. As his technical proficiency increased, however, his works became more intricate, smaller, and often included many very small parts.

Among these items created entirely out of metal to please and amuse were jewelry, doll house furniture, a cash register, a miniature vacuum cleaner, a tool box with individual tools to scale, toy trucks and cars, and a train set. Over the course of his working life, Abraham Megerdichian created over 400 metal art objects.

A wagon with a keg

A wagon with a keg

Please join us for a special evening hosted by Abraham Megerdichian's son, Robert, who will give a short talk about his father's life, art, and legacy, and will be on hand to discuss Abraham's work and what it was like to grow up the son of such a talented and generous tradesman-artist.

This event runs from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Admission is free. Please RSVP by clicking the button below.

We hope to see you on March 14th!

A machinist's toolbox

A machinist's toolbox

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Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff
Mar
22
6:30 PM18:30

Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff

This Mill Talk by Mimi Graney, author of "Fluff: The Sticky-Sweet Story of an American Icon," will explore the history of Marshmallow Fluff and the company and people that made it. 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Boston was a booming candy town. Of all the tantalizing treats, nothing has stuck around like Marshmallow Fluff. Since that time, the small, family-run company Durkee-Mower has churned out a century of Fluff with the secretive air of Willy Wonka. Little has been made of this extraordinary legacy—until now.

To author Mimi Graney, Fluff is more than a retro ingredient. It is a story about the merits and pitfalls of adaptation and innovation.

Graney deftly brings the factory floor alive, weaving a fascinating narrative about New England’s forgotten candy industry, changing social roles for women, the advent of commercial radio and modern advertising, and the supermarket revolution. Fluff has survived two world wars, corporate attacks, nutrition battles, and the rise and fall of manufacturing towns. The world has changed around it, yet this icon remains the same.

Author and speaker Mimi Graney

Author and speaker Mimi Graney

Mimi Graney is the founder of What the Fluff?, a festival celebrating Marshmallow Fluff that draws thousands annually. Her work in neighborhood economic development takes her to communities across Massachusetts where she focuses on creative industries and food-based businesses. Her favorite way to enjoy Marshmallow Fluff is by the melting spoonful in a mug of hot chocolate.

Come to this Mill Talk and learn a great, local story that will really stick with you!

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff
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Nov
2
6:30 PM18:30

Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors

Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors

Extraordinary Innovations in Industry and Technology

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors
Hollywood starlet and ingenious inventor: Hedy Lamarr and pioneering African American inventor Margret Stewart Joyner.

Hollywood starlet and ingenious inventor: Hedy Lamarr and pioneering African American inventor Margret Stewart Joyner.

Yankee Ingenuity.... Another name for the spirit of invention.

Some have asserted that because labor shortages perpetually plagued Americans, prior to immigration, that the Yankee mind was uniquely innovative, always searching for new labor saving devices.  To wit: Eli Whitney’s cotton gin.  But the spirit of innovation also came from another place in America, the open patent system, making innovation accessible to all, blind to race and gender and to the amateur or the professional.

"The Landlord Game" on which Monopoly was based.

"The Landlord Game" on which Monopoly was based.

This talk will explore the motivation and successes of four female inventors: Margaret Knight (the flat-bottomed paper bag machine), Margaret Stewart Joyner (the permanent-hair-wave-machine), Hedy Lamarr (a radio wave changing device that blocked signal jamming by the Germans in World War II) and Elizabeth Maggie (the woman behind the Monopoly game).  In doing so, Dr. Green will explore the range of inventions credited to women, the reasons for success and failure, and more generally to evoke the spirit of innovation in America writ large.

Doors open at 6:30pm. The talk begins at 7:00pm. - Come early for a self-guided museum tour!

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors
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