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Maker City: Rooted in Manufacturing

Walsh and Weidner Boiler Company

This is a photo taken around 1900 showing workers at the Walsh and Weidner Boiler Company operating a piece of machinery known as a splitting shear. Metal used in the production of boilers generally came in large flat sheets or coils; shears were used to cut pieces to approximately the correct dimensions for forming, welding, etc.

One of the recurring themes of Chattanooga's history is the place of manufacturing in the community. Chattanooga's position as a transportation hub almost guaranteed that any number of entrepreneurs would find the area interesting. From lumber yards and flour mills utilizing the Tennessee river to move raw materials and finished products, to the building of the state-of-the-art Volkswagen assembly plant on the site of the former Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, this city has progressed from a sleepy little village to a pollution-shrouded town and on into a time of increased ecological awareness and sustainable growth. Photos in this exhibit are taken from the manuscript collection, the picture files, and the Chattanooga Albums compiled by the Half Century Club.

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