- 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Their names are unknown for now, but they helped build a worldwide icon and a new mission is underway to learn who they are. From September 27th through November 1st, a photo exhibit of former factory workers entitled, “Project H&B ID: Putting Names with the Faces of Hillerich & Bradsby Co.” will be on display at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. This special exhibit features 25 photographs dating back to the 1930s that all feature H&B workers whose names have been lost through the years.
The photographs will immerse guests in the storied history of H&B, and life within the factory. This is the first time the museum has presented these photos as a collection. They will be displayed in the public lobby of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, so there is no charge to view them. From the candid to the portrait-esque, each photo tells the story of the hands, the faces, the people who have contributed to the company’s success.
Guests can engage with the photos by identifying the pictured individuals using #ProjectHB and tagging the museum on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In addition to social media, the public can participate by calling 502.588.7215 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“From butter churns to baseball bats, since 1856 thousands of men and women have played a role in Hillerich & Bradsby Co.’s success, including the production of Louisville Slugger bats, PowerBilt golf clubs, WWII gun stocks and more ” said Bailey Mazik, Curatorial Specialist at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “With this exhibit, we hope to fill in some of the missing details of H&B’s story by identifying those whose names have been lost through the decades and celebrating their lasting hard work and dedication,” she added.
The opening reception of the exhibit will be held Sunday, September 29th from 3 pm – 6 pm. The event is open to the public. Former H&B employees will also be in attendance to help identify the workers pictured in the display and to share their H&B memories.
This special exhibit is in conjunction with the 11th Louisville Photo Biennial, which runs thru November 10th throughout Louisville Metro and its surrounding communities. This is the 3rd year that the museum has participated in the event.
A Brief History of Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
In 1856, J. Frederick Hillerich moved to Louisville and started his woodworking shop. In 1884, J. Frederick’s son, Bud, made a bat for Pete Browning, who played for Louisville’s major league baseball team the Eclipse. The name “Louisville Slugger” was trademarked in 1894 and the business began growing in the community, continuing to make the iconic bat. In addition to bats, H&B produced PowerBilt golf clubs from 1916-2016. Some of the photos displayed in the exhibit will include golf club production. During World War II, H&B served the country by producing M-1 carbine gunstocks, track pins for tanks and billy clubs for the armed forces.