Mattapoisett has a long history of producing innovative people, including engineers, artists, scientists, builders, and craftspeople. Mattapoisett’s Movers and Shakers illustrates the diversity of the creative ideas that have come from the town, and how our special places are connected to the world through the spreading of ideas, inventions, and experiences. The exhibit highlights a selection of creative and talented people who are linked to Mattapoisett and outlines some of their most interesting achievements.
So what is a ‘mover & shaker’? Someone who achieves great things? Someone whose impact spreads far and wide? Someone who is powerful, or famous, or wealthy? It could be all those things, but we think that the essential feature of movers & shakers is that they made a difference.
There are many different kinds of movers & shakers out there – some people featured here have had an impact far beyond our little town while others are local talents. Freddie Brownell’s inventions revolutionized the boat storage and transport field and his boat stands are now industry standards. Charles Bryant was instrumental in the early years of far-off Alaska’s development, while artist and newspaper correspondent Francis Millet traveled extensively and rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous of his time. Peter Duff’s boats were sold all over the world.
Huybertie Hamlin, on the other hand, is important to Mattapoisett for her civic work in town. John & Dorothy Hagen and Charles Stetson Mendell provided jobs to townsfolk and brought industry to the area with their manufacturing businesses – rubber toys and electric switchboards, respectively. Similarly, John & Isiah Atsatt’s factory produced peanut roasters and provided work during a quiet period following the end of Mattapoisett’s ship-building era.
Innovation can also come in many forms. F. Gilbert Hinsdale saw how enhancements could be made to the tools used in swordfishing, while Joseph Hiller designed improved equipment to be used in coal processing. Gladys Sherman Ellis decided to teach herself basketry, and in doing so invented a unique Mattapoisett style. Allan Vaitses pioneered a method of putting fiberglass over old wooden-hulled boats, a previously unsolved problem.
The movers & shakers featured here each say something about Mattapoisett and the way enterprising individuals can have an impact, both far and near. These are only a few of the people who have made a difference in Mattapoisett though, and there have been – and will be – many more!
The museum at 5 Church Street will be open Thursdays 10:00 am to 4:00 pm & Fridays & Saturdays 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Join us for our Open House on Thursday, July 12from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
For more information call 508-758-2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.