American Precision Museum

American Precision Museum, Windsor: Hours, Address, American Precision Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

American Precision Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Open by appointment November through April. Please note - the museum is located in a historic building and is not heated; we advise dressing warmly. Open daily 10-5 from May through October. Vintage machines evolve into modern technology in a National Historic Landmark! The American Precision Museum combines the atmosphere of an original 19th century factory building with a world-class collection of historic machines. Explore industrial history in the context of innovation, creative problem solving, and the impact of precision manufacturing on American history and culture.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
100 reviews
Excellent
74
Very good
19
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD7,997 contributions
Jun 2021
Having worked a bit with lathes and drill presses as a youth, I was anxious to visit this museum. Its setting along the dammed river was impressive as was its historical bid to deliver 10,000 rifles to the US Government. The machinery built here to automate the rifle's construction and using interchangeable parts was amazing to see along with the films to demonstrate their operation. Some of these machines were then sold to other manufacturers.
Many other machines from other companies were shown including the American Watch Company's one that made 9,000 watch screws per hour. I found it unbelievably complicated but the result was selling millions of pocket watches. I guess that's why I like to watch "How its Made" on cable TV.
Our visit here was certainly worth $8 each senior.
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for visiting and for your review!
Written August 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rick J
Victoria, TX104 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
A very well done museum that shows the history of how machines were developed to make work easier, faster and better. We took the behind the scenes tour too and John did a great job showing us many of the machines that were upstairs and how they worked. It was a wonderful afternoon. And beautiful grounds.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maggi K
Brooklyn, NY9 contributions
Sep 2020
My husband wanted to visit but we both enjoyed this museum. It is located in the former site of the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, which made rifles used in the Civil War, among other things. John, a knowledgeable and friendly docent, demonstrated the use of two of the old lathes . The museum features many old precision machines, as well as modern automated machine tools.

Windsor is a charming town on the Connecticut River, located in what I learned was called Precision Valley, for the many machine shops located there.
Written September 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harvey S
2 contributions
Mar 2020
The American Precision Museum is not (just) for Gear-Heads. APT started with the enthusiasms of an amateur tool collector who went on to found the Smithsonian's pursuit of this critical part of our history. The displays explore how manufacturing of precision objects, from rifles and sewing machines to automobiles, came to be invented and used. Increasingly, the museum focuses not on the machines, but what they mean for our lives, and it's getting even better every year. APM is sited on the millstream and in the building where precision manufacturing really began - with long guns featuring interchangeable parts. That required that every part of a particular function had to have the same dimensions - the meaning of precision. I'm not a machinist, but wish every family could visit this, one of the few demonstrations of the underpinnings of the prosperity manufacturing created.
Written March 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jimbill
Houston168 contributions
May 2021
Nice diversion for an hour or two. Who knew how important Windsor was to the industrial revolution! Very nice and informative history teacher was the docent.
Be sure to check out the scale model in the glass case by the souvenir shop. It was made by a 14 yr. old from the 1800's.
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

babee1998
Franklin Square, NY95 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
One of my sons is interested in mechanical engineering so we decided to stop by here. It was worth it. We were the only guests at that time so we were able to take our time looking around. I have older kids so they really enjoyed the visit.
Written April 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TravelingMan446
Ohio51 contributions
This is a tiny, specialized museum that has a gem of an exhibit which they don't even seem to be aware is so fantastic. The museum site is the mill that they say is the birthplace of mass production of standardized, interchangeable parts.

The museum was founded to protect and preserve early machine tools and it has dozens of examples of lathes, mills, grinding machines, etc. Some of them are in working condition and can be operated by a docent at your request.

However, in my opinion, the absolute star of the museum is a set of utterly incredible scale models of a steam plant and a machine shop. The models were built over a span of decades by John Aschauer (1896-1978) totally by hand and without blueprints. He estimated that he invested 40,000 hours in making them! Most of them actually move even though they are only a few inches tall. They are so precise and so detailed that it is difficult to tell the difference in a photograph between the models and the real equipment!

It is a small museum. I spent 2 hours there and saw the whole exhibit quite thoroughly. I probably spent 30 minutes at the miniature models just staring with my jaw agape.

If you've been to the Warther Carving Museum in Dover, OH and liked it, I can guarantee you'll like this place.
Written August 16, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dutch Brother
Boston, MA469 contributions
Jul 2019 • Solo
It is just a collection of 19th century precision machines, used to tool (cut, bore, etc.) precisely manufactured, interchangeable parts. But as the excellent 7 minute introductory film explains, it was that precision that allowed interchangeable parts (so precise they didn't require quality control), mass production, and consumer society. This factory literally armed the Union during the Civil War, producing a thousand rifles a month as the Robinson and Lawrence Armory. In addition to about 20 original machines, there are two cases with miniature working models and a demonstration area where a young man makes small brass pieces are a lathe, cutting machine, etc. There is a small but excellent bookstore/gift shop with books related to the factory that are hard to find elsewhere. Parking is easy and the price is right. Worth a stop even if you don't think you are interested in looking at old precision machines.
Written July 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JoeBobNH
Concord, NH40 contributions
Feb 2016 • Couples
We were in Windsor, were interested in visiting, but on the museums Website noted the seasonal closing. Since this was NOT mentioned on the TripAdvisor page thought we should note this edit for the listing
Written February 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Linda B
34 contributions
Oct 2019
The American Precision makes clear the nuts-and-bolts of early manufacturing. American industrial history BUILT this country. This place illustrates how the tools were made. It is another museum which amplified our modern-day understanding of how hard people had to work "in the olden days."
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about American Precision Museum

American Precision Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM