Joseph Brown, founder of Brown & Sharpe, was a skilled clockmaker who invented new machines, and new ways to make things. Samuel Darling, an eccentric inventor from Maine, joined up and brought with him his engine for marking precise graduations on measuring instruments. Lucian Sharpe, with his son Henry and grandson Henry, Jr., guided the company for more than a century–and along with it the global machine tools industry.
The men and women of Brown & Sharpe produced and marketed a dazzling array of measuring devices, machine tools and precision machinery. They truly helped shape Rhode Island, the nation and the modern world. The history of Brown & Sharpe covers more than 150 years of technological development, labor history and public policy, culminating in history's longest strike.