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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Howe pin-making machine, about 1840Howe pin-making machine, about 1840

In 1910, when the son of a founder of the Howe Manufacturing Company offered the Smithsonian the first practical machine for making pins, curators jumped at the opportunity. The machine would "add a most interesting feature to the industrial collection," they noted, and would be a good first step in the "effort to build up a creditable collection to illustrate [the arts and industries], bringing out more strongly the practical side of the Museum."

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