Brown & Sharpe Historical Metrology Contribution Celebrated With Book Launch

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America has hosted an exclusive celebratory event and book signing to recognize the nearly 185-years of Rhode Island’s rich industrial history. The event showcased Gerald Carbone’s new book titled Brown & Sharpe and the Measure of American Industry, honoring the legacy of Henry D. Sharpe Jr.  In 2001, Hexagon AB and Hexagon Metrology, Inc. (now Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence) acquired Brown & Sharpe, an influential machine tool and metrology pioneer. The speaker program included Rhode Island Lt. Governor Dan McKee, Douglas Sharpe (son of Henry Sharpe Jr.), Angus Taylor – President of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America, and emcee Bridget Benedetti – Director of Marketing and Customer Experience.

The Amazon Book description states “Joseph Brown, founder of Brown & Sharpe, was a skilled clock-maker who invented new machines, and new ways to make things. Samuel Darling, an eccentric inventor from Maine, joined up and brought with him his engine for marking precise graduations on measuring instruments. Lucian Sharpe, with his son Henry and grandson Henry, Jr., guided the company for more than a century–and along with it the global machine tools industry.”

The men and women of Brown & Sharpe produced and marketed a dazzling array of measuring devices, machine tools and precision machinery. They truly helped shape Rhode Island, the nation and the modern world. The history of Brown & Sharpe covers more than 150 years of technological development, labor history and public policy, culminating in history’s longest strike.

Keynote speaker and author Gerald Carbone engaged the audience with his story about how Brown & Sharpe changed the world and created the metrology industry. Carbone presented a captivating narrative of how Providence, Rhode Island and a cast of inventors and bold businessmen nurtured Rhode Island‘s unique location and skilled workforce into a global leader in advanced manufacturing. Gerald Carbone is a biographer and a former journalist for twenty-five years, mostly for the Providence Journal. The new title is Carbone’s third book with St. Martin’s Press.

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The Rhode Island Historical Society set up three display cases of Brown & Sharpe instrumentation from their extensive archives. Morgan Grefe, Executive Director, and Dana Munroe, Registrar, engaged the crowd with their knowledge of the artifacts and their historical significance. Other special guests included dignitaries from the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association, Polaris MEP, Bryant University, New England Institute of Technology, the Town of North Kingstown, the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island press, and more.