Gainesville, FL--From the 1870s through the 1890s, Thomas Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, patented some of the most important inventions of the modern age, including the light bulb, sound recording, and motion pictures. The late 19th Century saw tremendous change and the rise of a new kind of American icon: the Inventor.
The Age of Electricity, this spring’s theme at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, provides entertaining, interactive activities inspired by Edison along with pioneers Lewis Latimer and Nikola Tesla. Surprising facts – like that Studebaker made battery-operated electric carriages from 1902-1912 – come to light in infographics and presentations throughout the museum. Parked right inside the museum’s rotunda are two Studebaker carriages donated by James Robert Cade, the museum’s namesake and lead inventor of Gatorade.
Speaking of inventions coming to light in this theme, guests can tinker with uses of light and power by way of hand-crank lightbulbs, fine-tuned instruments, and interactive power grids. Multimedia, interactive elements engage kids and kids at heart throughout the museum. Educators provide lively and easy-to-understand explanations of how the inventors pioneered electricity. One exhibit provides a literally hair-raising presentation of how electricity dazzled audiences at carnival sideshows during the 19th century.
Parents and kids alike can chuckle at the infamous legend of Tesla’s barter of a “death ray worth $10,000” for hotel fare. A replica of the box containing the device—in reality, a common scientific measurement device—invites a peek alongside the exhibit.
In keeping with the Cade’s pillars of learning, young inventors can participate in activities that engage all types of learners. A worksheet and crayons invite young inventors sketch their own patents. Little ones can create from “Edison’s Pile o’ Junk,” and witness how everyday items like Play-doh conduct electricity.
The Age of Electricity can be viewed Fridays-Sundays 12 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, 811 S. Main St., Gainesville. General admission is $12.50; youth ages 5-17, $7.50; children ages 0-4 get in free; seniors and college students only pay $10, and Cade Museum members get in free.
Visit cademuseum.org for more information.
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About the Cade Museum
In 2004, Dr. James Robert Cade and his family established the Cade Museum Foundation to build the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention in Gainesville, Florida. The Cade’s mission is to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Dr. Cade, a physician at the University of Florida, was best known as the leader of a research team that invented Gatorade in 1965. The Cade Museum is open to the public and located at 811 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. An independent 501(c)(3) public foundation, the museum receives no operational funding from federal, state, or local governments, or the University of Florida.
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