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Teens and history? But of course!

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
There are a lot of people that shudder when they hear the words “teenager” and “museum” in the same sentence. Two weeks ago, we held our annual Junior Historian training camp. During that week, I went to get my hair cut and my guy asked me what I had been up to lately. I said “Well, this is Junior Historian week. So I’ve been outside with a bunch of teenagers.” His shocked response: “Whatever possessed you to do that?” Confession time: this is one of my very favorite programs. But maybe I am a little crazy. For many, many years (no one is exactly sure how long, but we’re talking about decades), Dallas Heritage Village has had a Junior Historian program for teens. The basic format hasn’t changed too much: ..

Boom!

Published on Sunday, June 19, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
Thursday, June 2 was an explosive day at Dallas Heritage Village. For the first time ever, the Curatorial department disposed of an antique from our collection by blowing it up, with the help of the Dallas Police Department’s bomb squad. There was no act of terrorism or other criminal threat, just a dangerous chemical legacy from the past. The artifact was a brown glass bottle that once contained liquid picric acid. Doctors and dentists used this around 1900 for medical purposes, particularly to treat burns. Liquid picric acid is poisonous, but that would not be enough to scare a history curator. Collections of historic artifacts can contain many dangerous things, including medical artifacts. Many early medicines were substances that, technically speaking, were poisons,  ..

If Donkeys Could Talk. . .

Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
Nip: Can you believe we’ve been here since 2000? Getting from Georgia to Dallas was quite the adventure, and one I don’t care to repeat. And after growing up on a farm, this was a very strange place to be. Tuck: There were kids everywhere! And they made us pull those kids around on a wagon. I really don’t like pulling that wagon. Nip: But it didn’t take us long to realize this was the place for us, because we were The Stars. Kids lined up for rides. They scratched our noses. They even tried to hee-haw. Try is key here—no one does this near as well as we do. Tuck: Even as The Stars, we’ve had to put up with all sorts of things. One December, we were loaded on to a trailer to visit another muse ..

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