If you are a human with a job and colleagues, your coworkers probably send you links to various items on the Internet. These may include the occasional funny cat video, but most of the time the content probably has a legitimate connection to your job. In my case, people send me numerous articles about preservation and, thankfully, most of it is good news. Recently, however, my colleagues have enjoyed witnessing my apparently comical, yet anguished, reactions to forwarded links with […]
Before I came to The Strong, my exposure to pinball had been limited to the Barbie Shakin’ Pinball handheld video game that I received for Christmas 1995. I have definitely come a long way in my pinball knowledge since then, from learning the proper terms for components I never knew existed (pop bumpers are my favorite) to discovering the game’s tumultuous and sometimes scandalous past (mob connections, anyone?). Once I saw the machines up close, I became fascinated with the […]
In the spring, guests attending The Strong’s Museum Secrets events got a behind-the-scenes look at The Strong’s conservation labs and learned about some of the strategies and techniques used to keep collections preserved.
In the carousel care lab, guests heard about the history of the Elaine Wilson Carousel, the second largest artifact in the museum’s collection after the diner. Guests also discovered how Conservation Technicians Chris Wenderlich and Sue Dowling use reversible adhesives and other conservation materials to maintain the structural […]
One of the best aspects of working at The Strong is the endless opportunity for nostalgia. Last year, I wrote about my family’s tradition of treating Black Friday shopping like a game. Shortly after writing that post, I was reminded of another cherished holiday tradition when staff at the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play included a post about the J. C. Penney holiday catalog on their Tumblr page. Throughout my childhood, the J. C. Penney Big Book was […]
What do you get when you take a grand Victorian mansion, all of its ornately detailed furnishings, wallpaper, wooden flooring, and inhabitants (including pets!), and shrink them down to 1/12 their natural size? Well, a dollhouse, of course!
Dollhouses were a passion for museum founder Margaret Woodbury Strong Strong, as they have been for people throughout the centuries, dating as far back as the 1500s. It is easy to understand the appeal of these tiny treasures. Anyone who has had the […]
Preparation for the new Toy Halls of Fame is in full swing at The Strong. Part of the preparation for the exhibit’s opening in September 2015 involves assessing objects to make sure that they can be safely displayed in a way that will preserve the artifacts while allowing guests to enjoy them during their visits. Recently, I examined one of the museum’s greatest treasures, “Europe Divided into its Kingdoms.” This 1766 puzzle, which depicts a map of Europe drawn by […]
During our training, conservators usually specialize in a specific type of material, such as paper or paintings. As we become professionals, we find ourselves in institutions with diverse collections which requires broad conservation knowledge for all of the artifacts under our care, not just those comprised of our favorite material. Nowhere is this truer than at The Strong, where the museum’s collections range from paper dollhouse furniture to Barbie dolls to coin-operated arcade machines. The conservation challenges presented by this […]
In many families across America, preparing and then devouring the Thanksgiving Day dinner is followed by a quiet evening watching football or a Charlie Brown television special or simply sleeping off the tranquilizing effects of the largest meal you will eat all year. In my family though, the hours after the meal are not for relaxing—they are for strategizing.
At some point on Thanksgiving Day, my dad is sent out to purchase a newspaper. As soon as the pie plates are […]