Longitudinally-linked microdata on U.S. manufacturing plants are currently available to researchers for 1963, 1967, and 1972-2009. In this paper, we provide a first look at recently recovered manufacturing microdata files from the 1950s and 1960s. We describe their origins and background, discuss their contents, and begin to explore their sample coverage. We also begin to examine whether the available establishment identifier(s) allow record linking. Our preliminary analyses suggest that longitudinally-linked Annual Survey of Manufactures microdata from the mid-1950s through the present – containing 16 years of additional data – appears possible though challenging. While a great deal of work remains, we see tremendous value in extending the manufacturing microdata series back into time. With these data, new lines of research become possible and many others can be revisited.