The distinctive blue color of azurite makes it a popular mineral among collectors. People throughout history have used azurite for beads or jewelry, cut them into ornamental objects, or ground them for use as pigment in blue paint. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use azurite for pigment, but azurite was commonly used by… Continue reading
The flammability of coal gas was discovered by accident in the 1730s, yet gas was not applied as a practical lighting method for widespread use until the 1790s. Even then, most people distrusted gas fixtures inside the home and did not universally incorporate them until the 1880s. Gas lamps of the Victorian era, like this… Continue reading
Native to North America, the snowy owl breeds in the treeless arctic tundra but can migrate as far south as the northern Plains states and New England during the winter. The owls prefer treeless areas and wide open spaces and often sit right on the ground to hunt small mammals. This large white owl is… Continue reading
The Science Center’s Collections Department cares for and preserves a wide variety of artifacts, some of which may surprise you! From animals to fossils, ancient pottery to meteorites, space toys to medical tools, here you can discover a selection of wonderful things from A-Z. Connect with curiosity!
An effigy vessel is a container made in the likeness of something or someone else. While the function of these vessels is debated, some believe that animal effigies like this frog represented important aspects of Mississippians culture. For example, frogs were seasonal markers ushering in spring and the planting season, and so were associated with… Continue reading
Found in the rainforests of Central and South America, the adorable three-toed sloth is the world’s slowest moving mammal. Strong front arms and long claws help the sloth to hang and sleep in the treetops with ease, where they spend most of their lives. The three-toed sloth is one of the few mammals to have… Continue reading
Made about 1895, this wooden box contains 50 glass eye prostheses. The set contains eyes with a variety of standard iris colors and shades of sclera, or whites of the eyes. The sizes and shapes vary as well because the set was not made to fit a single person in particular. Sets like this were… Continue reading
Did you know that the Science Center has more than 100,000 artifacts? Check out this video for a look at some of the amazing things that our Collection Department has and be sure to check back every Wednesday as we feature a new artifact from the collection. Connect with curiosity!