Over the last few weeks I have been gathering material for my project on the Fafnir Company. Fafner was a manufacturer of ball bearings and for many years one of the largest employers in New Britain. During the research phase of my project I have relied heavily on source material that i found at the New Britain Industrial Museum and the New Britain Public Library. Although I initially worried about not being able to find enough useful information, I ended up finding more than enough. Most of the physical sources I was able to find were in the form of company publications, personal histories, and newspaper articles. Many of these sources contain technical information that ywould not be condusive to a public history exhibit, but there is also plenty of material that focuses on the human side of the company.
During the course of my research, one thing that I learned was that Fafnir was highly regarded by the men and women who worked for the company. Fafnir employees understood the importance of what they were doing (especially during the war years) and were paid a fair wage that they could raise a family on. I have a friend whose mother worked with Fafnir for many years and I think I would like to interview him about his mothers experiences for this project.
One of the thing that I have struggled with is finding Information about the later years of the company. Most of the information that I found is from Fafnirs heyday from about 1920-1960. In the 70s and 80s the Fafnir company began to decline and be bought out by other corporations. Company publications were discontinued and there is generally less information avalible. I want to document the history of Fafnir with chronological uniformity, but this has made it somewhat difficult.