Do you know what this is? This is communication. This is knowledge. This was state-of-the-art technology. Cyrus West Field had a dream to conquer the Atlantic Ocean and make quick communication possible from North America to Europe. The pictured cable made that possible. Although it took three tries, in September of 1866, Field was finally successful in sending a message from England, across the Atlantic, and all the way to his brother Jonathan Field’s law office here in Stockbridge.
What is this? In the Museum & Archives, we affectionately refer to this artifact as our model of the U.S.S. Enterprise, but the reality is that it is a prototype model created by Berkshire County’s version of Ben Franklin, Anson Clark. Mr. Clark dabbled in many different fields from cryptology and phrenology to photography and electricity. Visiting engineers have told us that this is a machine for the creation of electric current – a generator of sorts. Keep in mind that Clark died more than 30 years before Edison did his work with electricity.
When you think of Stockbridge the last image that comes to mind is large scale industry, and yet in the village of Glendale there was the Glendale Woolen Mill, which ran for nearly 100 years, producing wool, sateen, and other fabrics. The Glendale Woolen Company also opened the village’s general store, the post office, and provided land to build a chapel.
What are these items and how are they related? Not sure? The top artifact is an ice cleat that would attach to your boots if you were harvesting ice on Mohawk Lake in Glendale or Echo Lake in Interlaken. The smaller item was used to shave ice off of a cake of ice.
“The Edward’s house was situated on Main Street in town and served as the residence of Rev. Jonathan Edwards from 1751 to 1758. It later became a school for boys run by Ferdinand Hoffmann and Jared Reid from 1855-1873. In 1900 the building was demolished and parts of the house were made into souvenirs visitors could purchase in order to own a small bit of town history.