Sidore Series

Historic photo of Manchester, NH

Established in 1965 in memory of Saul O Sidore, the Sidore Series offers the UNH community and the state of New Hampshire programs that raise critical and sometimes controversial issues facing our society. All events are free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of the Saul O Sidore Memorial Foundation.

Sidore Series 2023
From Textiles to Tissues: The Evolution of Advanced Manufacturing in Manchester

The Manchester Millyard has a rich manufacturing history that has evolved dramatically over the last two centuries. The mills of Manchester's Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, once one of the largest textile factories in the world, served as a model of planning and progress to the industrialized world. Formed in 1809, the company produced miles of woven cloth per hour fueled first by New Hampshire farmers, then eventually attracted French Canadian, Greek, German, Swedish and Polish immigrants in the early 1900s. Threatened by cheaper labor in the south and overseas as well as the economic challenges of the Depression, many Manchester mills closed in 1935. The industry that had sustained the city for a century fell into steep decline.

Fast forward to today, Manchester has now developed an industry to rival the impact of textiles and shoe production of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2016, inventor Dean Kamen founded the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) to make practical the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies, opening the door to a multi-billion-dollar industry that could take root right here in Manchester. ARMI received inaugural funding from the U.S. Department of Defense via the BioFabUSA program including $80M of direct grants to ARMI and its member companies. In addition to ARMI, the mills built by Amoskeag have been transformed into homes for technology companies such as Texas Instruments, Pillpack, Autodesk and DEKA, among many others, making technology innovation synonymous with Manchester.

The goal of the 2023 Sidore Series is to provide both the historical perspective and future vision for these industries: the first which established Manchester as a world leader in the production of textiles and shoes, and the latest, which has the potential to put Manchester back on the world map of manufacturing leadership, this time in the production of life-saving tissues and organs.

2023 Schedule of Events

Monday, February 13 | 6-7:30 p.m.
UNH Manchester | 88 Commercial Street, Manchester, NH

Famous for its dominance in textile production, Manchester was also affectionately known as “Shoe City.” More than 70 different shoe companies once called Manchester home, and thousands of area residents worked tirelessly to produce some of the best-known shoes throughout America and the world. The McElwain Company, known for its innovation in shoe production methods and branding, was one of the largest shoe companies in the country. Their paternalistic oversight of employees, including medical facilities, company outings and sports teams, earned them a loyal following unheard of in other companies of their size. In this presentation, UNH professors Kelly Kilcrease and Yvette Lazdowski will show how the Manchester-based shoe industry was vital to the region’s economic and employment prosperity, especially among the immigrant population. They’ll also discuss how their innovative production methods are believed to have inspired the McDonald brothers to create the fast-food industry.


Monday, March 20 | 6-7:30 p.m.
UNH Manchester | 88 Commercial Street, Manchester, NH

The site of the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus at 88 Commercial Street continues the tradition of innovative organizations located in this historic building. Originally part of the renowned Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, it was rebuilt in 1879 to its present structure followed by several internal renovations since that time, including its iconic tower. One of its best-known occupants includes Pandora Industries, with its famous roof-top sign “Home of Pandora Sweaters,” advanced human resource policies and the progressive Sidore family at the helm. This presentation by UNH professors Kelly Kilcrease and Yvette Lazdowski recalls the history of the building, focusing on the contemporary innovations it brought to the economic vitality of Manchester and the region throughout the years. From modern production methods to then-unusual leadership of a female executive, the building continues to serve the local region with career-focused education, as well as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research.


Monday, April 17 | 6-7:30 p.m.
UNH Manchester | 88 Commercial Street, Manchester, NH 

There are many challenges to establishing a commercially viable industry for the manufacture at scale of tissues and organs. Current manufacturing technologies employed today are immature and subject to significant variation in quality, cost and throughput. Significant advances in a modular, automated, scalable and closed manufacturing architecture will overcome these historical barriers. In addition, new approaches to regulation are required to dramatically decrease time to market and, in turn, the time for providing these life-saving therapies. Finally, significant increases in the workforce are needed—at scale, this industry will require millions of workers across a wide range of technical disciplines and levels of training.