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  • Ohio Historical CenterOhio Historical Center Columbus, Ohio
    The Ohio Historical Society manages numerous historical sites around the state, and is located in the 250,000 square foot Ohio Historical Center, in Columbus, Ohio; in what is called a Brutalist concrete building. This unique type of architecture was prevalent during the 1950s and up to the 1970s, spurred on by modern architectural techniques. Many displays set up here show the history of the state from the ice age to the current era, with archives, a gift shop, library, administrative and educational facilities; and has been referred to by the Smithsonian as one of the best museums in the country that is dedicated to pre-European history. One of the most spectacular exhibits on the grounds is the Ohio Village, that is a reconstructed Civil War period example of a town, called a living museum, and home to the Ohio Village Muffins, a vintage baseball team. Beginning in 1981, this team has promoted the game of baseball the way it was played in 1860, with competitions in 2007 and 2008. The society has become a wonderful resource for the state's schools, with educational kits, field trips and outreach programs; as well as distance learning courses. Permanent exhibits include; Windows to Our Collections: Ohio's Ancient Past, which covers more than 15,000 years of the state's history, especially the early Native Americans, plus the exciting archaeological discoveries of the Adena pipe, Wray figurine and mica hand, with many excellent examples of animal effigy pipes that were found in the Tremper Mound; then Ohio: Two Centuries of Change, that highlights the state's progress from the early frontier days to the 1970s, focusing more on the leadership, agricultural and industrial progress, and the effects of important changes that occurred in the lives of ordinary people. One of the most favored part of this area is the exhibit called Ohio and the Civil War, that tells of the state's involvement in the terrible war; as well as uniforms, weapons, medical and camp equipment including battle flags. Also part of the same display are an operating carriage shop, 1920s newsreels, log cabin, pioneer kitchen, vintage cars and many children's activities, that includes trying on clothes of the period, run a spinning wheel or cook pioneer food. Another permanent exhibit is the Nature of Ohio, allowing visitors to study and explore the five themes of the state's history, climate, geography, plants, animals and geology. A huge Conway mastodon welcomes you to this gallery that will open the state's natural history from the ice age to the present with numerous interactive displays that have been geared to children allowing them to touch, test and play safely while learning. They have a display about the extinct animals, as well as two specimens of ivory-billed woodpecker that are over a century, and Buttons, the last passenger pigeon that existed anywhere in the world. Continuing with the permanents, Ohio's Garden Path: the Flowering of Our Landscape, although this is temporary, this exhibit visits the last 200 years of land use changes that have occurred set in a 4000 square foot space, constantly influenced by fashion trends, architectural styles and world events.  The last permanent display is the architecture section and the building itself is a prime example of the Brutalism, a style that was exported by British and French architects during the mid 20th century.

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  • American Whistle FactoryAmerican Whistle Factory Columbus, Ohio
    The last remaining manufacturer of metal whistles in the United States is located in Columbus, Ohio and has been in business since the 1950s, and is proud of their record and status as a solid brass whistle that are made to last a lifetime and one of the most useful tools needed in safety. Their high quality whistles give a high frequency sound that demands attention and always gets it. The company also carries a complete line of accessories, including the rubber Safe-T-Tips that cover the whistle so that the mouthpiece protects the mouth from extremes in temperature and impacts. Their customers come from all walks of life and professions, from the referees at sporting events to the Boy Scouts of America, as well as safety whistles for colleges and universities, police departments, corporate and companies that hand them out to their employees for safety. A company or other organization can have their specific logos imprinted on the whistles, that last more than 15-20 years or longer with care. Using only the highest quality materials, these sport or safety whistles can always make a wonderful gift. The brass is used to make sure that the sound is always exact in tone and resonance, and then covered with nickel; since brass is the choice of material that has been used for years on musical instruments. The history of this unique tool is almost as amazing as the small safety device itself. Many have been found made of bone or wood, used in the spiritual, entertaining or practical uses that have been used for centuries. The boatswain's pipe is one of those that has been used for centuries on ships sailing around the world. It is used to give commands and salute dignitaries coming aboard ships, and has evolved from the ancient days of Rome and Greece, when they were used to keep the timing of strokes on a galley ship of rowers. There was a medieval version that was used to bring the bowmen up on deck when needed for attacks or defenses. The modern version began to appear in 1878, when the referees would use the whistles in games of sport. It was an old English toolmaker, completely fascinated by whistles, made a brass one that was used in the Nottingham Forest Soccer Club games. All those involved found that the high pitched whistle was much more useful than waving your arms or throwing down a flag, which is still used this day, along with the whistle in football. The next year, the pea whistle was invented, using a small pea inside the air chamber which, when blown, created such a high shrilling sound that it would demand anyone's attention that heard it. And that safety use continues on today, in all areas of the world.

January 11, 2011