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The Voice of Reason

Connecticut museum of History

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Why not combine some of the smaller museums in CT into a larger and grander institution in Hartford.

We all know about the wadsworth, many of us have posted about a colt museum, and I think even in that thread we talked about a grander museum including other manufacturers, then joked about a museum for the merchants of death in CT.

This thread is a little more practical and realistic, and I think something that could greatly benefit the Capitol, the State, and most importantly the people of the surrounding area.

It's a given that conventions bring people to Hartford, and The city and state recognize the importance of visitors(not sure if I would call them tourists) on the local economy. It can also be said that The new Science center, the improvements to the City library and Rentschler Field all bring people to Hartford and they were all State projects to raise the stature of the Capitol city.

I propose that we create a new museum in Hartford, but as a "super museum" to many other smaller museums around the state. Part of what makes museums a success are their mass. The little tiny museums in rural towns survive on shoestrings or the generosity of their patrons. Places like MOMA could be called rich because of turnstile revenue alone. This does not even count their endowment and corporate sponsorship. I propose that the state use its influence and combine the Museum of CT History with the CT State museum of Natural History. I propose that the different specialities of these museums remain, and only a few of the administrative roles consolidated. I propose that this new Museum attain exibits from many of the smaller museums around the state, and host their exibits in a central location.

these are the links to the two museums I would merge. I am sure there could be others combined into this super museum, but these twi are the first I found.

http://www.museumofcthistory.org/ Run by the Lirbary on Capitol Ave.

http://www.cac.uconn.edu/mnhhome.html Run by UCONN in Storrs

http://www.springfieldmuseums.org/museums/history/ from Springfield, but certainly a place where loaned exibits could come from.

My motivation for this post comes from the information below that my wife sent me in an e-mail.

Connecticut's Historical Firsts

1639 -- first constitution adopted, establishing representative government

1656 -- first municipal public library in America, a bequest to the "towne of New Haven"

1670 -- first survey for the first turnpike in America, between Norwich and New London

1729 -- first medical diploma, granted by Yale University

1764 -- first newspaper, The Hartford Courant, published since October 29, 1764

1775 -- first submarine

1783 -- first dictionary, published by Noah Webster, born in West Hartford

1784 -- first law school in America, Litchfield Law School Graduates included John C. Calhoun, Aaron Burr, Horace Mann,

Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Noah Webster

1788 -- first State House in America, built after the Federal Constitution ratification

1794 -- first cotton gin, Eli Whitney of New Haven patented this invention

1803 -- first town library, tax-supported and organized in Salisbury

1806 -- first factory town in America, planned and established in Seymour

1808 -- first movable parts mass production in use, making clocks

1810 -- first insurance company, ITT Hartford Group, Inc. Officially opened for business and people were able to take insurance for the

"loss of life or personal injury while journeying by railway or steamboat"

1819 -- first industrial training school, established by Josiah Holbrook in Derby

1836 -- first revolver

1842 -- first public art museum

1843 -- first portable typewriter

1844 -- first use of anesthesia

1846 -- first sewing machine, Elias Howe procured a patent for the first practical sewing machine in 1846

1853 -- first ice-making machine

1858 -- first can opener

1861 -- first Ph.D. Degree, Yale University awarded in Philosophy

1868 -- first tape measure

1877 -- first pay phone

1877 -- first telephone exchange, established in Bridgeport

1892 -- first collapsible toothpaste tube

1895 -- first hamburger, served at Louie's Lunch in New Haven

1900 -- first submarine

1907 -- first permanent public planning body in America, Hartford's Commission on the City Plan

1908 -- first lollipop

1920 -- first Frisbee, Yale students discovered empty pie plates from Mrs. Frisbie Pies in Bridgeport could be sailed across the New Haven Green

1933 -- first vacuum cleaner

1934 -- first Polaroid camera

1939 -- first FM radio station, WDRC-FM began broadcasting in Hartford

1939 -- first helicopter, Igor Sikorsky designed the first successful helicopter in the Western Hemisphere

1948 -- first color television

1949 -- first ultra high frequency UHF television station to operate on a daily basis, KC2XAK in Bridgeport

1954 -- first nuclear submarine, launched in New London

1982 -- first artificial heart, Dr. Robert K. Jarvik, a Stamford native,invented the world's first artificial heart

I know the above 2 museums have many articles related to the above firsts, but I think this super museum should focus on attaining permanent collections for every one of them. I think it should establish regular rotations of loaned exhibits as well. I think this critical mass could be attained quite quickly thru that merger concept. This should be the one stop shop for CT history. To diversify the museum I think it also best to attempt to acquire exhibits from around the world as well. Kind of like become the masters of CT history and NE history dating back to the Ice Ages, but also provide a local option for world history as well. Bring in an Egypt exhibit on loan or whatever so CT kids can see this stuff without having to go to NYC.

This would also go a long way in cementing Hartford

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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I think it's a great idea and no brainer really. I personally think that the Hartford Times building would be perfect for this since the Wadsworth backed out. Why not hand it to the state library and the CT Historical Society? It would really bolster the Front Street district to have another attraction in addition to the Science Center and Wadsworth. How could we lobby for them to study the feasibility?

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Its a great idea, but I think The Connecticut Historical Society is pretty much considered the CT History Museum... and its pretty big. It has its own building in the west end on Elizabeth St. near UConn Law School.

I do believe the Times building would make a great museum. Whatever happened to the political museum at U of H. I know it closed down, but what happened to the collection?It was the biggest collection of political memorabilia in the US.

Its too bad the Atheneum backed out. I always thought the Atheneum should split its modern collection into a new museum.

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That's how the old state house should be used. It's small but could be loaded with all kinds of interesting things.

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That's how the old state house should be used. It's small but could be loaded with all kinds of interesting things.

Its funny you say that, but my idea would be far too large for the Old Statehouse. What I thought would be appropriate would be to include the State House as part of the organization, and set up exibits in the building as well as use it for fundraising events, and use it as an exibit at the main museum. It would be a way to get people to want to see the building itself after visiting the museum and seeing all of the things that happened there. I would say that admission to the museum got you into the Sh and vise versa.

I totally forgot DINOSAURS!!! CT has a rich fossil history, and this would be the place to showcase them.

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Its a great idea, but I think The Connecticut Historical Society is pretty much considered the CT History Museum... and its pretty big. It has its own building in the west end on Elizabeth St. near UConn Law School.

Where? What? I never heard of that place, and I am sure I am not alone. My primary point is taking places like that and organizations with simular or even in some cases identical mission statements and funding sources and combine them for their benefit and ours. In effect to RE-BRAND them into a new entity that would have immediate creditability and a collective clout that would far surpass all of the internal parts.

I do believe the Times building would make a great museum. Whatever happened to the political museum at U of H. I know it closed down, but what happened to the collection?It was the biggest collection of political memorabilia in the US.

I thought of the times building as well, and City Hall for that matter(I know they have concidered building a new one at times).

The Political Museum is a perfect example of what I would like to consolidate. It closed but didnt have to if could have joined into the preimere museum of New England.

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Where? What? I never heard of that place, and I am sure I am not alone. My primary point is taking places like that and organizations with simular or even in some cases identical mission statements and funding sources and combine them for their benefit and ours. In effect to RE-BRAND them into a new entity that would have immediate creditability and a collective clout that would far surpass all of the internal parts.

I thought of the times building as well, and City Hall for that matter(I know they have concidered building a new one at times).

The Political Museum is a perfect example of what I would like to consolidate. It closed but didnt have to if could have joined into the preimere museum of New England.

CT Historical Society

Incidently, the CHS did step up and save and manage the Old State House. There is information about that on their website as well.

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CT Historical Society

Incidently, the CHS did step up and save and manage the Old State House. There is information about that on their website as well.

I actually did know there was a society, just did not know they had a museum. their site does not have much info on it about the exibits. but good to know. my point does remain that merging these exibits with very simular mission satements and nearly identical funding sources could benefit us and them.

Before, you asked if there was a way to push this concept forward. sure there has to be right? I would like to think we are all intelligent civic minded people capable of coming up with enough of an outline to pass off to a few of the right people.

Besides the Museum run by the Historical society, The museum run by the CITY Library, The museum run by the STATE Library, and the museum run by UCONN does anyone else know of any other institutions that would be good candidates for inclusion?

How about other recently closed museums that we could look into tracking down their exibits (like UHART Political museum). Are there any others?

Location of the primary location is something I am sure we all could have ideas for, but it seems like the easiest part, and sadly least important part as well. compiling information first is key. I will happily play point person if anyone else is interested in getting a few things together. The end goal for me would be contacting the directors of these museums, and also going to the government and the media. especially the media to see if some support can be drummed up.

Also a Name for the concept should be agreed upon. also not hugely important innitially, but fun just the same.

"New England Museum of Natural History" my first shot at it.

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I did some research into all of the museums in Hartford and a few others I found on the web. Not the best place to look, but certainly a start.

CT Historical society

http://www.chs.org/

Museum of Connecticut History

http://www.museumofcthistory.org/

The Menczer Museum of Medicine and Dentistry

http://library.uchc.edu/hms/menczer.html

Museum Of Connecticut History

Hartford Police Museum

Hartford Armory

Connecticut State Library and State Archives Museum

Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/sights/sigh...AttrId=%3D11760

n the old state house run by CT historical society

Peabody Museum of Natural History

New Haven

Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

www.pequotmuseum.org

American Clock & Watch Museum: 100 Maple Street, Bristol, CT 06010

Museum of American Political Life: University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117

Greater Hartford Archeological Conservancy: 278 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105

Anyone know any others?

I generally avoides historical houses since the house is the museum for the most part, and they would most likely be best for cross promotions and for loan exibits.

I really am willing to run with this if anyone is willing to help a little. I kind of want to make a difference in Hartford

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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The charter of the colony of Connecticut is a very impressive document. It is probably five feet high and three feet wide. The workmanship is quite beautiful.

Currently it is in a vault in the Connecticut state history museum across from the capitol. Few people view it there. Always thought it should be an exhibit, along with the story of the Charter Oak, in the Old State House.

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I am bringing this back from the dead.

I spoke with the Hartford Arts council some today.

I am going to send out an outline of my thoughts on this matter. If anyone wants to add a few more ideas other than what has been posted in this thread please feel free to post it here. Otherwise you are encouraged to send me a PM.

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There is mention of some kind of collaberation between Stowe and Twain House.

In a way I hope this happens to help these venerable institutions stabalize. but also to prove my theory of cost saving synergies as well as attraction by way of critical mass.

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HOLY CRAP-A-SAURUS!!!

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-u...0,4703925.story

So, since UConn is now looking at getting out of the museum business I am going to have to shake a few more trees over at lets go arts.

all I need to do is get the Uconn museums and the UHard Govt collection to combine with the states library museum and you have a damn impressive collection.

Maybe if the Armory is an unaceptable location, the Hartford fire insurance building will work?

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What kind of collaboration?

There is mention of some kind of collaberation between Stowe and Twain House.

In a way I hope this happens to help these venerable institutions stabalize. but also to prove my theory of cost saving synergies as well as attraction by way of critical mass.

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Its been a while now, but If I recall it was while Mark Twain House was about to go under, and Stowe house is financially sound, so they were basicly going to kind of merge operations and cut costs by integrating staff.

Also Stowe house was prudently run and Twain was reckless with money, much like the two historic figures, so the thought was that Stowe people could handle Twains finances, because he was never any good and holding onto money.

I think Twain got some big gifts and state money, so nothing ever came of it, but the idea still makes sense to me. I mean they are right next door and they have the same mission.

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That does make sense, to be honest. I'm just surprised that they haven't proposed something like that earlier. I mean, hasnt the Twain house been in trouble for years, basically?

Its been a while now, but If I recall it was while Mark Twain House was about to go under, and Stowe house is financially sound, so they were basicly going to kind of merge operations and cut costs by integrating staff.

Also Stowe house was prudently run and Twain was reckless with money, much like the two historic figures, so the thought was that Stowe people could handle Twains finances, because he was never any good and holding onto money.

I think Twain got some big gifts and state money, so nothing ever came of it, but the idea still makes sense to me. I mean they are right next door and they have the same mission.

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Yes, the Twain house has only had a few times when it was flush with money and so instead of building an endowment like most museums, they instead built an overpriced addition or some other fool hardy project pushing the museum close to closing.

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Its a great idea, but I think The Connecticut Historical Society is pretty much considered the CT History Museum... and its pretty big. It has its own building in the west end on Elizabeth St. near UConn Law School.

There is already a Museum of Connecticut History in the Supreme Court/State Library building across from the Capitol. EDIT - Sorry, I missed this in the first post.

I too think it would be a good idea to consolidate our various museums into one building that would hopefully get more traffic than the various ones around the city and state.

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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Apparently I was inspired:

I spoke to someone at each of the following institution today

Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism

CT Historical society

The Benton Museum of Art

UTC Corporate Giving and Community Relations

Lets go Arts

The Wadsworth Antheneum

The state of CT

The Hartford Courant

and what did I accomplish?

not a whole heck of a lot. But we will see what tomorrow brings. I definately had some great conversations that led to further connections and direction.

We will see how this works out and we will see how my motivation holds out. I will be honest however. It usually piters out pretty quickly.

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There is a nice museum in East Hartford called the Edward King Museum of Tobacco & Aircraft. It is on the second floor of Raymond Library.

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Why not combine some of the smaller museums in CT into a larger and grander institution in Hartford.

We all know about the wadsworth, many of us have posted about a colt museum, and I think even in that thread we talked about a grander museum including other manufacturers, then joked about a museum for the merchants of death in CT.

This thread is a little more practical and realistic, and I think something that could greatly benefit the Capitol, the State, and most importantly the people of the surrounding area.

It's a given that conventions bring people to Hartford, and The city and state recognize the importance of visitors(not sure if I would call them tourists) on the local economy. It can also be said that The new Science center, the improvements to the City library and Rentschler Field all bring people to Hartford and they were all State projects to raise the stature of the Capitol city.

I propose that we create a new museum in Hartford, but as a "super museum" to many other smaller museums around the state. Part of what makes museums a success are their mass. The little tiny museums in rural towns survive on shoestrings or the generosity of their patrons. Places like MOMA could be called rich because of turnstile revenue alone. This does not even count their endowment and corporate sponsorship. I propose that the state use its influence and combine the Museum of CT History with the CT State museum of Natural History. I propose that the different specialities of these museums remain, and only a few of the administrative roles consolidated. I propose that this new Museum attain exibits from many of the smaller museums around the state, and host their exibits in a central location.

these are the links to the two museums I would merge. I am sure there could be others combined into this super museum, but these twi are the first I found.

http://www.museumofcthistory.org/ Run by the Lirbary on Capitol Ave.

http://www.cac.uconn.edu/mnhhome.html Run by UCONN in Storrs

http://www.springfieldmuseums.org/museums/history/ from Springfield, but certainly a place where loaned exibits could come from.

My motivation for this post comes from the information below that my wife sent me in an e-mail.

Connecticut's Historical Firsts

1639 -- first constitution adopted, establishing representative government

1656 -- first municipal public library in America, a bequest to the "towne of New Haven"

1670 -- first survey for the first turnpike in America, between Norwich and New London

1729 -- first medical diploma, granted by Yale University

1764 -- first newspaper, The Hartford Courant, published since October 29, 1764

1775 -- first submarine

1783 -- first dictionary, published by Noah Webster, born in West Hartford

1784 -- first law school in America, Litchfield Law School Graduates included John C. Calhoun, Aaron Burr, Horace Mann,

Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Noah Webster

1788 -- first State House in America, built after the Federal Constitution ratification

1794 -- first cotton gin, Eli Whitney of New Haven patented this invention

1803 -- first town library, tax-supported and organized in Salisbury

1806 -- first factory town in America, planned and established in Seymour

1808 -- first movable parts mass production in use, making clocks

1810 -- first insurance company, ITT Hartford Group, Inc. Officially opened for business and people were able to take insurance for the

"loss of life or personal injury while journeying by railway or steamboat"

1819 -- first industrial training school, established by Josiah Holbrook in Derby

1836 -- first revolver

1842 -- first public art museum

1843 -- first portable typewriter

1844 -- first use of anesthesia

1846 -- first sewing machine, Elias Howe procured a patent for the first practical sewing machine in 1846

1853 -- first ice-making machine

1858 -- first can opener

1861 -- first Ph.D. Degree, Yale University awarded in Philosophy

1868 -- first tape measure

1877 -- first pay phone

1877 -- first telephone exchange, established in Bridgeport

1892 -- first collapsible toothpaste tube

1895 -- first hamburger, served at Louie's Lunch in New Haven

1900 -- first submarine

1907 -- first permanent public planning body in America, Hartford's Commission on the City Plan

1908 -- first lollipop

1920 -- first Frisbee, Yale students discovered empty pie plates from Mrs. Frisbie Pies in Bridgeport could be sailed across the New Haven Green

1933 -- first vacuum cleaner

1934 -- first Polaroid camera

1939 -- first FM radio station, WDRC-FM began broadcasting in Hartford

1939 -- first helicopter, Igor Sikorsky designed the first successful helicopter in the Western Hemisphere

1948 -- first color television

1949 -- first ultra high frequency UHF television station to operate on a daily basis, KC2XAK in Bridgeport

1954 -- first nuclear submarine, launched in New London

1982 -- first artificial heart, Dr. Robert K. Jarvik, a Stamford native,invented the world's first artificial heart

I know the above 2 museums have many articles related to the above firsts, but I think this super museum should focus on attaining permanent collections for every one of them. I think it should establish regular rotations of loaned exhibits as well. I think this critical mass could be attained quite quickly thru that merger concept. This should be the one stop shop for CT history. To diversify the museum I think it also best to attempt to acquire exhibits from around the world as well. Kind of like become the masters of CT history and NE history dating back to the Ice Ages, but also provide a local option for world history as well. Bring in an Egypt exhibit on loan or whatever so CT kids can see this stuff without having to go to NYC.

This would also go a long way in cementing Hartford

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Any interest in lending me a hand mike? :)

I have spoken to so many people and everyone is at least intertested in hearing more. some are downright stoked.

I need help reaching out to the museums in the area with portable exibits and seeing if they are interested in the concept. the details will be worked out in a group setting. Basicly I am trying to get everyone to agree to meet. Then I will get everyone down to Lets go arts HQ or something and see if people can start to agree on more specifics.

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I just sent this to the Govenor. Why not right? he says he likes to save money, consolidate agencies, support economic development, and wants to revive hartford...

This NEMoH museum would do all of those things :P

New England Museum of History

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