Connecting People to the Long-ago Way of Work & Life that Propelled this Country to Greatness

We envision an engaging and dynamic venue where visitors can learn about Westfield’s local history and view whipmaking operations essentially unchanged from the 19th century heyday. A place where scholars can do original research, equestrian enthusiasts can learn time tested techniques and gearheads can observe 1800’s machinery. A destination for people of different backgrounds and interests.

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Westfield Museum

Westfield Historic Industries Preservation Project,
a Program of Westfield Museum Inc.

Our goal is to memorialize the remarkable achievement of Westfield entrepreneurs who, in the early 1800s, transformed the making of whips 
from a craft to an industry, and, along the way, developed theories of production, business practice, and transfer of motion that fueled the juggernaut known as the U.S. Industrial Revolution.

Making progress means making connections – among people, across generations, between industries. Housed in a National Historic Register building constructed in1884, an intact example of 19th century industrial architecture which remains virtually unchanged to this day, the Westfield Historic Industries Preservation Project transports visitors back in time to the dawn of industrial automation, when most work was handwork and modern manufacturing techniques were just beginning to emerge.

Then & Now

Although whip manufacturing no longer constitutes a significant part of the industrial profile of Westfield, the small city in western Massachusetts to which it lent its enduring moniker – the Whip City – its influence, and the influence of other historic industries that flourished here, continue to play a role in the shape of the City to this day.

And beyond Westfield’s borders, principles, practices, and creative solutions that have their roots in the whipmaking industry continue to thrive on assembly lines worldwide, and in industries as disparate as aerospace, agribusiness, and medical technology.

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