May 8-10, 2018 | Connecticut Convention Center | Hartford, CT

CT Industry Murals at Mfg4

The CT Industry Mural depicts 350 years of Connecticut manufacturing history on 8 pieces of painted canvas. Each of the 8 canvases represents one of the 8 counties in Connecticut and stands 10’ high and 5’ wide. Three of the 8 panels will be on display at the Mfg4 event this May 3-5 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.  Artist Michael Borders will be on-site and available to answer questions about the who, what, when and where of Connecticut manufacturing history from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm daily.



The Connecticut Industry Mural is a graphic depiction of the state’s 350-year industrial development, told in eight 10′ x 5′ oil on canvas panels, each representing one of Connecticut’s counties. A south-to-north birds-eye view of each county’s topography occupies the background of each panel, showing the hills, valleys and watercourses that gave rise to the state’s initial enterprises. Symbols of those early activities, most of which depended on the use of land and water, and illustrations of later products for which the county became known are superimposed on its topography. The historical figures whose ingenuity and energy gave rise to the county’s industry are shown in the foreground of each panel, ranked by the century in which they lived. Because of the size of the CT Industry Mural, 400 sq. ft., it is expensive to transport and it takes days of work to install. Its accessibility is limited. When Michael Borders began his research for the Connecticut Industry Mural in 1978 he looked first and foremost for a single volume or two that might tell the story of the history of manufacturing in the state. Finding none, he began the long, arduous journey of traveling from one historic site to another to gather the information and materials he needed to compose the mural. His research took him to historical societies, libraries, chambers of commerce, abandoned mills, historical reproduction sites, and even up in an airplane to photograph the topography of the land that influenced Connecticut industry. That airplane ride also allowed Michael to determine the horizon line that spans and connects all eight panels that make up the mural. Years of research, recording and sketching on site led to what is now known as the Connecticut Industry Mural which traces the development and implementation of industry in Connecticut from Native Americans into the 21st century. Key historical figures, including Samuel Colt, Eli Whitney and Charles Cheney, stand beneath inventions, machinery and easily recognizable architectural markers such as the Cheney clock tower in Manchester. Borders’ mural, created over a period of 25 years, is an ingenious and unique portrayal of the complex historical development of the state’s industries, each separate yet related in a web of human activity.


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