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“Surprisingly Rich and Detailed” 5 of 5 stars
Review of American Precision Museum

American Precision Museum
196 Main Street, Windsor, VT
802 674 5781
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Ranked #5 of 13 Attractions in Windsor
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Museum has the largest collection of machine tools in the country.
Western Ma
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Surprisingly Rich and Detailed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

The American Precision Museum building is modestly appointed and seemingly inconsequential. I joked with my wife that it might contain three musket balls and a broken musket. I do so like being wrong in instances like this.

The museum contains a fascinating collections of early rifles and pistols and possesses a wealth of history and significance. They were the first to develop interchangeable parts for rifles and were later visited by Samuel Colt and emissaries from the Springfield Armory who wished to study these techniques. They made innumerable rifles for the North in the Civil War. The company was founded and developed by two VT brothers who never got beyond high school. The contributions of these two to American technology and the industrial revolution are truly significant and yet almost unknown. They also designed tools to make tools that would make tools. Many of the originals are still on the museum floor and there are some working models one can study.

One would think that the appeal of this museum would by largely to males, but my wife was equally fascinated. Unfortunately, we had an appointment that force us to cut our visit short after only two hours. Plan on spending more time.

Visited August 2013
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31 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Jamestown, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“American Precision Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Fantastic exhibit on the role played in the Civil War. The exhibit included a lot of first hand accounts and artifacts which helped make the war more "real" even though it was over 150 years ago. The permanent exhibit of precision tools was interesting. There was a docent on hand who demonstrated the use of one of the machines to show how they could make parts. The museum had a park that overlook the river next to it that runs through Windsor, but it was destroyed in the floodings from Hurricane Irene.

Visited September 2013
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Bridgewater NJ USA
Top Contributor
346 reviews 346 reviews
142 attraction reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
168 helpful votes 168 helpful votes
“Loved it! A part of history you never think of!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

This was certainly a unique museum. We often don't think about how the guns for the Civil War were made or who make them. This wonderful collection of tool and dye equipment and other types of machinery played a unique role in the making of guns an equipment. It also created the idea of standardized parts and interchangeable components for not just guns. There is also a super Civil War collection interspersed among the machinery that puts a lot into a historical perspective. Don't miss the display of miniature but working machines in the back corner. They also have a machinery demonstration in the center where you can see some of the machinery In operation Take a look at the neat chess set made into different shapes with the machinery!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
85 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Manufacturing of firearms for the civil war and specilization of machine tools”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

The American Precision Museum has a special exhibit about machine tools that were needed by arms makers and the history of the machine needs during the Civil War. Along with this are exhibits and artifacts of people who fought in the Civil War from Vermont. We went on a Sunday for the Behind The Scenes Tour. It was interesting and worth the extra time especially if you have an interested in the start of the machine age.

The regular exhibit area on the first floor was beautifully presented with a man showing how some of the machines work and to answer questions. The area looks like a real machine working floor. This is where the Civil War exhibit is. There will be some very interesting presentations coming up in the next few months by noted historians and writers/film makers. Take a look at the American Precision Museum web site. I am going to go to one event presented by James McPherson and Howard Coffin about the Civil War.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Interesting and Fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We saw this advertised at the rest stop in VT. My husband likes guns and we are both history lovers. We went on a Sunday and admission was free. The place was very interesting. There was a lot more then just how they make guns. There was a lot of interesting civil war artifacts along with stories and history of the men and women who worked in not only this factory but other gun manufacturing factories throughout new england.

My husband loved the machines and was very intersted in how each one worked and contributed to the gun making process. I however was more interested in reading about the lives and looking at the artifacts. It was a very interesting place and it was a amzing to see how much went into making the guns.

You walk around and read about the things yourself at your own pace. There are a few interactive areas where you can watch a short film or touch a screan to read about differnt people. The lady at the front desk was very nice and seemed to love her job and the museum. She offered a bit more historical facts and also some interesting facts on how the museum was run.

I am very happy we visted this museum and I hope people will continue to visit and keep it going.

Visited June 2013
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