PROVIDENCE, RI – Dick Beaupre is about as local as you can get. He's been a Rhode Islander all his life, born and brought up here. But Beaupre's company could have ended up in California. After college, he went out West to work as a chemist. Only one thing brought him back to the Ocean State.
"My wife went crazy out there and kind of forced me back," he says.
During Rhode Island's manufacturing heyday in the early 20th century there were 15 to 20 box manufacturers in the Providence to Attleboro corridor. Today there are only four. Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic visits one of them as we continue our "Made in Rhode Island" series.
Every Rhode Island school kid knows the story of Samuel Slater. Slater, an Englishman, memorized the architecture of textile machinery and brought these plans across the Atlantic to Pawtucket in the 18th century.
He founded a textile factory along the rushing waters of the Blackstone River, spurring the industrial revolution in the young United States. Today we honor Slater with a museum at the site of his first mill.