Made on Staten Island: Agriculture, Industry and Suburban Living in the City 1800-1984 traces Staten Island's evolution from its agricultural and maritime past, through the development of various industries, to modern suburbanization.
Between 1819, when the first major industrial plant was established in what became known as Factoryville, and 1929, when the Great Depression struck the metropolitan area, Staten Island hosted an impressive series of industrial and manufacturing enterprises. Staten Island linoleum, soap, bricks, paper, lager beer, and printed cloth are products that received national, even world-wide distribution. Locally used products included carriages, baked goods, furniture, and baskets.
"Made on Staten Island" presents a wide variety of objects crafted and produced on the island from the 18th to the 20th centuries, along with tools and other artifacts that highlight the industrial and social development of Staten Island from its agricultural roots, through the industrial period, to the suburban building boom after World War II.
Highlights of the exhibit include:
- a shellfishing boat known as a "Staten Island skiff," ca. 1890, representing the oyster industry, which played a significant role in New York City's economy and social life;
- an original carved horse from the Midland Beach Carousel, evoking Staten Island's beer gardens and beach resorts;
- a Weissglass milk delivery wagon, ca. 1910, recalling the importance of dairy farming and processing to the early-20th-century economy.