From the US Industrial Revolution to a Mini Maker Faire

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From the US Industrial Revolution to a Mini Maker Faire
2015 RI Mini Maker Faire Photo by Mary Johnson
2015 RI Mini Maker Faire Photo by Mary Johnson

Rhode Island has a few memorable and unique things about it. It’s got the longest state name in the US, it’s the smallest state in the union, and you might have heard we have pretty good restaurants.

What a lot of folks don’t know is that we’re the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Samuel Slater (“Slater the Traitor” to some of you) learned everything there was to know about textile machinery in Great Britain, memorized as much as he could, and took that knowledge to the US. He first tried to start a business in New York, but found much more available capital in Rhode Island, and was also able to find people to work with. The Slater Mill was built in 1793 in Pawtucket, RI, and today, it’s a historic site you can visit, complete with a wonderful museum.

Not far from Slater Mill, you’ll find the Ocean State Maker Mill, a membership-run organization focused on arts, engineering, and science. And go a little bit outside of Pawtucket on August 13, 2016, and you’ll find yourself at the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire. It’s taking place at the same time as AS220’s Foo Fest, and is adjacent to it in the Pell-Chafee Performance Center at 87 Empire Street.

At the Maker Faire, you’ll find builders, designers, tinkerers, innovators, craftspeople, engineers, hackers, scientists, garden wizards, and robots from across the Northeast. You’ll also find hands-on making experiences. We expect thousands of community members, designers, technologists, and industry-leading professionals to participate in our events, making the Mini Maker Faire an ideal venue to see Rhode Island’s innovators on display, as well as Makers from all over the region.

Tickets are $7 in advance (before fees). Tickets will be $10 day of the show, but free for kids 10 and under (both in advance and day of the show)!


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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

View more articles by Brian Jepson


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