2017 SIA FALL TOUR - NASHVILLE TENNESSEE

2017 SIA FALL TOUR – NASHVILLE TENNESSEE

September 14-16, 2017

Caption for above photo: Record finishing, left, and pressing at Bullet Plastics Co., 1952. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.


Nashville, Tennessee will be the location for the Society for Industrial Archeology’s 2017 Fall Tour. Music City USA is known as a center of the recording industry. Music is still recorded there and vinyl records are still pressed there. But the city has a rich and diverse industrial past and present.

Nashville’s past industries included bridge building, automotive and airplane manufacture, chemical production, and textiles. The Nashville Bridge Company fabricated bridge parts and later manufactured boat hulls on the east bank of the Cumberland River from the 1890s to the 1970s. Nashville’s Vultee Aircraft Corporation built P-38 Lightnings during World War II. Marathon Motor Works built cars in Nashville from 1907 to 1914. That factory was later converted for manufacturing grain bags by the Werthan Bag Mill Company. Now a case study in industrial re-use, Marathon Motor Works houses everything from tattoo parlor to recording studios.

Vinyl record manufacturing continues in Nashville. United Record Pressing, the nation’s largest producer of vinyl records, is in the process of moving its operation to a larger facility to keep up with renewed demand for real LPs. The city is a major transportation hub, home to a sprawling CSX railyard. Live music acts keep Nashville’s sonic tradition alive every night of the week.

Further details will be posted as tour arrangements are finalized!


Aerial view of the Nashville Bridge Company on the Cumberland River, 1947. Note newly built barges ready to launch in the upper left corner of the photograph. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Packaging records at Bullet Plastics Co., 1952. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Parts pressing at  Avco Aerostructures, Nashville, 1952. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Assembling P-38 Lightnings at Vultee Aircraft Corporation, Nashville, 1941. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Trailers brought in to house Vultee workers during WWII production, Nashville, 1941. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Werthan Bag Corporation’s textile mill, Nashville, 1947. Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Modern satellite view of CSX train yards, Nashville. Imagery copyright 2017 Google.