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Steelman John Woodman Higgins made steel in Worcester MA. He wanted to know how medieval armorers made such excellent steel, so he collected their work.




That Worcester, Massachusetts should have one of the world's great collections of medieval arms and armor, is not as odd as it may seem.

The ingenious Yankees who lived in 19th-century Worcester were fascinated by machinery, and thus deeply involved with metallurgy.

John Woodman Higgins (1874-1961), co-owner (with his father) of the Worcester Pressed Steel Company, was one of these. It didn't take much for him to have a lifelong fascination with historic arms and armor.

Numbering over 100 magnificent suits of armor, true works of art, his collection includes helmets from ancient Greece and Rome, elegant Renaissance armor from Germany and France, mounted jousting tournament figures, even armor made for children and for dogs.

Woodman constructed a museum building specially for his collection. It opened in 1931. In 2013, however, for financial reasons, the museum was closed and the core of its collection transferred to the Worcester Art Museum, where periodic exhibits show the finest pieces. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

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Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester MA






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