It Sprang from the River! Everyday Objects with Maritime Secrets, an original, engaging, and interactive exhibit featuring great maritime inventions, discoveries, and ideas that have crossed over into everyday life – including the ever-popular Slinky® toy – open through January 3, 2011, at the Independence Seaport Museum.
The exhibit, which illuminates in whimsical and thought-provoking ways the connections between the maritime and landlubbers’ worlds, will run through January 3, 2011. While the ubiquitous Slinky is an exhibit highlight, visitors will be amazed and amused at the watery beginnings of so many fashion, health, electronic devices, language, transportation, and popular culture items.
The exhibit is designed as a house where visitors will walk from room to room, each populated with everyday objects paired with the “secret” maritime artifacts illustrating their origins. Entertaining interactive opportunities include knot-tying, Morse code, weather folklore trivia, loading cargo (blocks) onto a “container ship,” and more.
“The idea is that as people explore this ‘house’ they will discover just how closely connected their lives are to the sea,” says Seaport Curator Craig Bruns.
The many secrets from the sea revealed in It Sprang from the River! include bell bottoms (sailor garb), cell phones and GPS systems (wireless communication at sea), perfume fixative (ambergris aka whale vomit), automobile taillights (Fresnel lens originally used in lighthouses), the toy View-Master (used to train sailors to identify enemy ships), and weather forecasting.
Independence Seaport Museum
211 South Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106