A look at Higgins Armory
The Higgins Armory is a very unique place. It is the only museum of its kind in the western hemisphere. It is located in Worcester, Massachusetts.
At the bottom of this page I have a video of my tour through this armory.
It began as the collection of a wealthy industrialist (John Woodman Higgins) who had the museum constructed in 1930. He gained his wealth by founding the Worcester Pressed Stell company which supplied sheet metal and stamped sheet metal objects to industry and for the military. To me there is a definite link here. Having been deeply involved in sheet metal fabrication it stands to reason he was interested in suits of armor!
And this is where his collection in the museum shines. It has a magnificent array of all kinds of suits and pieces of armor from a very wide variety of countries and time periods. As a secondary thing to notice is that the musuem also has an extraordinary collection of Pole Arms. Tertiary is also the quite fine collection of shields -which are also a nice tie in to the sheet and stamped metal business.
Information about the Armory: You can check out the official website at: Higgins Armory Museum They also have an amazing culture with lots of special exhibitions and programs including role playing events.
Here is a look at the outside of the museum. It is composed of a lot of steel and glass and even though it has the large armored knight on the top it doesn't look very medieval. But once you get inside all of that changes.
Here is a picture of the main hall inside the Armory. It is very gothic and the great room here has two levels so you can walk around the upper level and look down on this level. An interesting thing to note is the polearms on the various columns. There is quite a stunning colletion of polearms and other weapons mounted in this great hall. There are also dozens of suits of armor in all kinds of styles and time periods.
Here is a display of seven of the hundred or more polearms in the armory.
From left to right:
And of course there are the numerous suits of armor on display both under glass, out in the open and even on horses or posed in combat. The Museum covers a lot of different types and styles of armor that span centuries and countries.
Overall The musuem is simply amazing. It is also very well geared toward learning. You can carry a smart handset with you and punch in codes for the various displays to listen to a recording about them.
And they don't just statically display things. There are complete knights mounted on horses and prepared to joust. There is a display of two fully armored knights engaged in ground combat against each other and there is just a whole lot more amazing things.
Including armor from the far east and some armor and weapons that are very exotic including gladiator armor and helmets.
Everywhere you look there is something amazing to see from shields to coats of arms to polarms, swords, armor and more.
My favorite thing? There was a lot of amazing stuff and of course the polearms and armor suits are spectacular. But I like the array of interesting helmets the best.
A crossbow from about 1475.
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