"My Favorite Museum Exhibit" is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I'll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I'll update the full list there every morning.
Not every museum exhibit will survive untouched from your childhood to your grandchildrens'. Over time, historic and scientific accuracy, changing mores and aesthetics, and improvements in design will force some exhibits off the main stage and into the dusty storage room of memory.
But you can still love them from afar.
On this, the last day of "My Favorite Museum Exhibit" week, I'd like to include one man's tribute to a long-dismantled museum exhibit. Tom Luthman writes:
When I was a kid in the 1970s, I'd go to the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio (COSI). COSI opened in 1964, in the old Franklin County Memorial Hall, built in 1906. It closed in 1999, or rather, it moved to a new location, and most of the old exhibits didn't make the move.
One of the exhibits was THE TRIUMPH OF MAN, a leftover exhibit from the 1964 World's Fair in New York City, built by the Travelers Insurance Companies. You'd walk down a darkened corridor, and off in alcoves were 14 paper-mache scenes depicting the history of humanity. All accompanied by a recorded narration from the World's Fair. It was also sold in the gift shop as a 33-1/3 record, which we had.
Now, Luthman has put that recording to good use, incorporating it into a Flash-based recreation of THE TRIUMPH OF MAN* that will live online, long after the physical exhibit has decomposed in a landfill somewhere.
This is a really neat project and worth checking out, even if you don't have the emotional connection to THE TRIUMPH OF MAN that Luthman does. Just make sure you're someplace where you can crank up the sound and enjoy that sweet, sweet mid-20th-century triumphalism in stereo.
*Of course it's in all caps every time. It's THE TRIUMPH OF MAN, for god's sake.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.