Try explaining to a five and seven-year old that at one time in life there were no computers and that to take a photograph involved hiding under a heavy, dark canvas and pictures had to be developed. Just try telling them that music wasn’t always available on a smart phone. Good luck.
Thankfully there are museums dedicated to preserving how science has evolved over time.
For a recent Grandma Day, I took two of the grands to the Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange, New Jersey.
A ranger greeted us and invited the children to become “Junior Rangers.” They had to answer some questions in a booklet as they toured the site. Recently renovated, the park includes Edison’s library—a vast three-story structure, crammed with books, scientific instruments, sculptures, and a desk with tons of little drawers and cubbies. We were amused that there was a cot in the corner, installed for Edison to nap on when he stayed late at work.
The park includes the library, the laboratories, and the factory. Though quiet now, we imagined the noises we may have heard had we been around in those days. A ranger described the use of a time clock, and how even Edison punched in and out. They were impressed that Edison invented more than 1,000 items.
After the visit, they were sworn in as Junior Rangers, promising to take care of the National Parks and received a badge and a patch.
I can’t even imagine what their generation will invent.