Kalamazoo Valley Museum
The date of January 23, 2016 marks the opening of the 'Kalamazoo Gals' exhibit at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in Kalamazoo, MI.
The below photos will give you an idea of what this wonderful exhibit includes.
It was an honor to be asked to contribute to the exhibition. I would like to say thank you to Sarah Humes for reaching out and contacting me about this fine project.
Please follow this link Kalamazoo Valley Museum to find out more about their exhibit or their other upcoming events.
The above sign reads:
The Gibson Company
The story starts with Orville H. Gibson, who arrived in Kalamazoo in the 1870's. Orville spent his spare time handcrafting mandolins and soon began producing them full-time. In 1902, five men offered to buy out his patent and start a production facility, resulting in the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
By the 1940's, the Gibson Company had grown, moved locations, and changed their product line to meet the changing demands of the market. At the start of America's involvement in World War II, Gibson was producing instruments, but as was the case for many manufacturers in the United States, their operations were turned to war production.
Guitars and other instruments were still made during this period, but the workforce had changed. Women were now involved in the manufacturing of Gibson's product line. The stories of these women were captured by John Thomas, who was inspired to dig into the history of Gibson's wartime production.