Here is Tom Goldscheider’s Talk at the Greenfield Public Library November 2nd, 2016. “At Swords Point” which is his work on Organized Labor in Greenfield and was produced through The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage from Mass Humanities.

At Sword’s Point


Greenfield has a remarkable industrial heritage. It set worldwide standards in the manufacture of precision tools providing residents with high wages for most of the 20th century. Today its industrial base is a shell of its former self. What happened? What can be done to re-kindle this proud tradition?

On November 5, 2016, the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage hosted a two-part panel discussion to explore these questions with a focus on labor/management relations. The morning session featured several historians who have studied this subject in depth. They traced the rise and fall of the metal tool industry here with an eye toward the changing nature of ownership and organized labor’s response to those changes. The afternoon session featured the voices of Greenfield men and women who lived through parts of this history from a variety of perspectives.

Our first panel was made up of three distinguished labor historians. Bruce Laurie taught the subject for forty years as Professor at UMass Amherst and writes and edits widely read books on work in America. Robert Forrant was a machinist and is now Professor of Regional Economic Development at UMass Lowell and writes on metalworking in the Valley. Tom Juravich directs the Labor Center at UMass Amherst and writes on the changing roles of unions in the workplace.

Our second panel brought the discussion closer to home. It will include people who have worked in the tool industry along with representatives from the United Electrical workers union.

Both of these panel events are now provided below

A History of Machine Tools, Unions and Wall Street
Part 1

Part 2

The museum has also hosted other Open Houses. We hope you’ll join us at one of our future events and visit our new exhibits and hands-on activities. These days are planned for both novices and experts to explore and enjoy.

Please check back often to learn about upcoming events.