The Johnston Historical Society, which was formed in the late 1970s by a group of historically minded people, will present a lesson diving into what was once known as one of Providence’s “Five Industrial Wonders of the World” during a rare afternoon meeting Sunday.
Once first-year president Elise Carlson holds a brief society meeting inside the award-winning nonprofit’s famed Museum Barn at 101 Putnam Pike, she will turn the podium over to Gerald M. Carbone. He will speak about his new book, “Brown & Sharpe and the Measure of American Industry.”
The meeting will get underway at 2 p.m. and Carlson and the executive board are “excited about Mr. Carbone’s visit and fact that he’s with the Rhode Island Historical Society.”
“We welcome everyone,” Carlson said, noting that the society’s general meetings that feature special speakers are open to the public. “Please come and join us for this exciting program and enjoy our hospitality as well as some light refreshments.”
To which Anthony Ursillo, one of four society trustees, added: “Who knows? You might even want to join; our dues are only $20 a year for an individual membership and just $30 for a family. Our programs are always interesting and informative.”
Meanwhile, people who take in Sunday’s session will learn the ins-and-outs about Brown & Sharpe, the one-time manufacturing giant that was founded back in 1933 by David Brown and his son Joseph R. Brown and was located on South Main Street in Providence.
Carbone will explain to people how, in 1853, the company added Lucian Sharpe as a partner and became J.R. Brown and Sharpe, and the firm’s early work consisted of making and repairing clocks and other mechanical devices. Through the years, the company had a complete line of precision tools.
Moreover, Brown and Sharpe are credited with many industrial inventions, including the standard wire gauge.
Anyone who would like more information about the Johnston Historical Society is invited to attend Sunday’s meeting or call 231-3380. General meetings are held the last Wednesday of the month, September through June, and begin at 7 p.m.