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Mapping Springfield’s Industrial Growth

historic airial picture of Springfield ma
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The following lesson on the industrial growth of Springfield, Massachusetts during the 19th century was created during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015. Utilizing both primary and secondary source materials students will explore the industrial transformation of the Pioneer Valley during the early 19th century. By engaging students with a slideshow of local business logos, students explore the Industrial history of the Springfield area. A secondary source reading and questions, Town to City by Michael Frisch, provide background information on what Springfield looked liked prior to and after industrialization began. Students new found understanding of industrialization in the Pioneer Valley is reinforced by evaluating two primary source maps, one from 1827 and another from 1855, to evaluate the impact of the Springfield area landscapes as a result of industrialization. Ultimately, students are assigned a product and tasked to determine which complementary industries would be needed to support production.


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Lesson Plan