A few of my favorite things…

We had a great event at the History Hub two weeks ago: a Pop-Up Museum. We invited people to bring their old tools and gagets to the History Hub for an afternoon of storytelling. Here are some of my favorites:

Poison Bottle: Pharmacist and native Durhamite Ralph Rogers taught me that poison bottles at drug stores were oddly shaped so that a pharmacist would not accidentally poison a patient when mixing an emergency prescription (by candlelight) in the middle of the night. (Photo by Eric Waters)

Telegraph: From Bob Ashley of the Herald Sun I learned that there was no whistling allowed in the newsroom in the days of the telegraph–chirp out a tune and you would interfere with the signal! (Photo by Abby Nardo)

Reed Hook: From John Schelp I learned about a very personal tool that a weavers in the mills would make and carry. This reed hook was used for picking up a thread when it broke in the loom, and tying it back together. This particular one was crafted out of buttons by a worker at Erwin Mills. Beautiful, huh? (Photo by Eric Waters)

I also learned that Pop-Up Museum really works for connecting people, things, and stories past and present. This was a bit of an experiment for us, but it turned out to be a great way to fill the space with people and artifacts for an afternoon. I’d like to see this event series continue, even once exhibits are installed. We had some audio documentarians and a photographer from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies there recording and shooting film–stay tuned to see what cool project comes of their work.


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