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Industrial Architecture

Unlike residential or commercial buildings, mills and factories did not typically follow architectural trends. Rather, they evolved in a very utilitarian way, with technological advances in construction methods, power sources, and transportation. Although lacking definable architectural style, the evolving characteristics of the factory can help pinpoint the era of construction. Vermont has boasted a number of prosperous industries, from lumber and marble to clothespins and pump organs, and the waterways and rail beds were once dotted with busy factories. Although much of the industry has long since faded away, many of the buildings still line the old transportation corridors. Factories were often updated when new technology was developed, but many older mills and factories remained in use for decades. When examining a historic photo that contains a mill or factory, it is important to remember that the approximate date of construction is not necessarily the date of the image. It should only be used as a minimum date (i.e. the factory was built in 1900, therefore the image dates no earlier than 1900).

Click on the thumbnail below that closely resembles the type of building in your historic image.

Early Water Powered Mills 19th Century Water Powered Factories
Water Mills Century Water Powered
Modern Factories Steam Powered Factories
Modern Steam
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