Based in North Easton, Massachusetts from 1803, the Ames Shovel Company flourished during the gold rush era and, by 1879, was producing three-fifths of the world’s shovels.
Today, 783 of them, together with over 1,500ft of company records, make up the Arnold B. Tofias Industrial Archives. They form the core of the Stonehill Industrial History Collections - generally known as “the Shovel Museum” - in Cushing-Martin Hall on the campus of Stonehill College in Easton.
The oldest shovel in the collection, which can be viewed by appointment, dates from 1784. There are also 24 silver-plated shovels from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, entrenching shovels from the Second World War and the Vietnam War, shovels with 9ft handles and even an iron potato scoop.
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