Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum The Kalamazoo Valley Museum features exhibits on science, technology and the history of Southwest Michigan. Free general admission.
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This tool is really helpful this time of year. What is it?
09/23/2020

This tool is really helpful this time of year.

What is it?

Are they depositing or withdrawing the pumpkins from the bank?Object number: 99.20.50
09/22/2020

Are they depositing or withdrawing the pumpkins from the bank?

Object number: 99.20.50

It is almost pumpkin spice and cider season. Object number: 70.861
09/21/2020

It is almost pumpkin spice and cider season.

Object number: 70.861

Who remembers checking out a box or a model?  Object number: KVM.244
09/20/2020

Who remembers checking out a box or a model?

Object number: KVM.244

The Black-eyed Susan is a bright ray of sunshine in your garden. Whether in the garden or a vase, the blooms are long la...
09/18/2020

The Black-eyed Susan is a bright ray of sunshine in your garden. Whether in the garden or a vase, the blooms are long lasting. The seeds and nectar are sought after by birds, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, caterpillars, beetles, and moths. It is host to butterfly larvae. Look closely to see teeth at the petal ends and bristles on the stems and edges of leaves. There are 25 species native to North America. The most common four species (fulgida, hirta, laciniata, triloba) have minor differences. Planting all four species together will give a dimension of varying heights, colors, and bloom sizes. Rudbeckia is drought tolerant and deer and rabbit resistant. It is recommended to water them from the bottom. The scientific name is attributed to Swedish botanist Olof Rudbeck.

Sun: full sun, part shade/savanna
Soil: dry, dry-mesic, mesic, wet-mesic

Fun facts: The flower name is attributed to the poem “Black Eyed Susan” by John Gay. North American settlers and Native Americans used the plant for colds, snake bites, earaches, worms, and swelling, and as a diuretic, stimulant, and immune system booster. It is still used in traditional herbal medicine. Rudbeckia is one of the first plants to grow after a fire or natural disaster. It symbolizes encouragement and motivation.

Why plant MI native plants? Native plants bring diversity to your yard, increase the diversity of insects, and therefore create a more diverse food chain. They help create a full “circle of life” for insects and hence birds and other animals in the food chain. Native plants use a minimal amount of water, require minimal maintenance, require no chemicals, provide beautiful landscapes, and build a natural wildlife habitat.

Did you get the latest edition of museON magazine?This is a type of portable desk that Colonel Moore may have used. Obje...
09/18/2020

Did you get the latest edition of museON magazine?

This is a type of portable desk that Colonel Moore may have used.

Object number: 67.156

09/17/2020

Time to put the gardens to bed.

Fall Maintenance for Your Flower Gardens

The big debate: cut back perennials in the fall for winter maintenance or leave plants upright and allow stems to die off naturally?

Here are the main reasons to cut back your plants in the fall:
1. The garden looks neat, tidy, organized, and clean during late fall and winter.
2. Cutting back plants in the fall can help reduce plant disease. Diseased plants are removed, so the chance for disease spread to other plants in the spring is lessened.
3. Removing insect-infested plants in the fall helps to eliminate infestation recurrence in the spring, leading to a healthier garden.
4. Cutting back plants, light raking, and removal of debris in the fall provides a ready-to-go garden in the spring. Minimal time is required to prepare your flower garden for new plantings and weeding in the spring.
5. There are a few perennials, like hostas, that get mushy if not cut back in the fall. Cutting back these types of plants early is more convent for cleanup than leaving them on the ground.

Here are the main reasons to leave plants as they are in the fall:
1. Leaving plants in the ground for the winter allows any energy stored in the plant to continue feeding the root system.
2. Plants left over the winter provide a habitat for useful insects such as pollinators and butterflies (Yes, specific butterflies do overwinter!), and nesting locations for birds and small animals. Certain useful insects lay their larvae in and on the stems of flowers. Grasses that are hollow stemmed are especially valuable for winter habitats.
3. The seeds and fruit provide a food source for birds, pollinators, useful insects, and small animals.
4. It decreases erosion from winter winds and spring rains.
5. Plants left to winter will be easier to locate in spring for trimming, breaking apart, and moving.
6. It reduces winter stress on plants.
7. The raised stem causes snow to collect over the crown, providing insulation.
8. Over fall and winter, the plants will provide visual beauty. The contrasting colors against the snowy background and the wispy, skeletal plant remains will be an ever-changing mural of beauty all winter long, whether bare, frosted, iced, or partially snow covered.

This object has a modern day equivalent that is much smaller. This one is metal. It is 3 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches lo...
09/17/2020

This object has a modern day equivalent that is much smaller. This one is metal. It is 3 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long.

What is it?

The Kalamazoo Motors Company developed out of the earlier Lane Motor Truck Company, and only lasted until 1924.Object nu...
09/16/2020

The Kalamazoo Motors Company developed out of the earlier Lane Motor Truck Company, and only lasted until 1924.

Object number: 2012.12.4

We have some pretty cool toys in the collection like this 1963 Tonka fire truck. Object number: 2018.29.7
09/15/2020

We have some pretty cool toys in the collection like this 1963 Tonka fire truck.

Object number: 2018.29.7

What do you think this wooden artifact would have been used in 1825?
09/14/2020

What do you think this wooden artifact would have been used in 1825?

Schoolcraft Fife & Drum Corps. In 1881.From left to right: John Wheeler-Fife, Sid DeMerril-Fife, Jess Zane-Drum, Lou Fer...
09/13/2020

Schoolcraft Fife & Drum Corps. In 1881.

From left to right: John Wheeler-Fife, Sid DeMerril-Fife, Jess Zane-Drum, Lou Fergusen-Drum, Germ Phillips-Bass Drum, William Zane-Leader, George Wheeler-Fife, Park Pusel-Bass Drum, Court Phillips Drum, Herman Bauer-Drum, George Miller-Fife

In Front: Bunty Boyne-Bass Drum Carrier and Frank Hendricks-Bass Drum Carrier

Object number: 64.420

Picture North Rose Street 1900...Object number: 81.186
09/12/2020

Picture North Rose Street 1900...

Object number: 81.186

Climax, Michigan Post Office in September 1955.Object number: 72.338.5.A
09/10/2020

Climax, Michigan Post Office in September 1955.

Object number: 72.338.5.A

What would this artifact be used for?
09/09/2020

What would this artifact be used for?

Frank School class photo from 1890.Object number: 60.459
09/08/2020

Frank School class photo from 1890.

Object number: 60.459

Rube Goldberg
09/08/2020

Rube Goldberg

Wherever you are learning this year - work hard, be kind and enjoy learning something new everyday!
Have a wonderful school year to all of the students, teachers and parents!
. . .
#backtoschool2020 #rubegoldberg #teachersrock #stemeducation

Union work floats in the Labor Day Parade about 1907.Object number: 2015.34.1
09/07/2020

Union work floats in the Labor Day Parade about 1907.

Object number: 2015.34.1

Nifty little trick.
09/07/2020

Nifty little trick.

Just wanted to share with you. It may help some teachers who don’t have a document camera. This is my little creation, hope it helps someone. All you need is a cd, pencil, tape and a quarter. The pencil is taped on the back just so it can hold the cd. The quarter is to weigh the cd down so it can pick up the imagine from the keyboard. This works on zoom. Instead of the kids looking at you when you place the cd on a pencil it reflects what's on your keyboard, anything on your keyboard can be seen. When you want them to look at you again pick up the cd. May also help students show their work to a teacher while on camera.

Ctto (Carmen Castrejon)

How many people remember this from their youth?Object number: 2002.30.8
09/06/2020

How many people remember this from their youth?

Object number: 2002.30.8

Lovely day for a picnic or a trek in a park.Object number: 62.28.A
09/05/2020

Lovely day for a picnic or a trek in a park.

Object number: 62.28.A

This week's flowering plant is the Great Blue Lobelia.The brilliant blue blossoms are a special treat for any garden. Hu...
09/04/2020

This week's flowering plant is the Great Blue Lobelia.

The brilliant blue blossoms are a special treat for any garden. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and song birds, as well as bumblebees, native bees, and useful insects, are attracted to its nectar and blue color. The lavender-blue, tubular bloom is split into two lips. The upper lip has two segments, and the lower lip has three segments. The flower grows from the upper leaf axil. It is a long-lasting cut flower. It is rarely affected by pests or disease. It has obovate (egg-shaped) leaves that are cauline (grow on the stem). It is a perennial herb which is unbranched and has no woody fiber. Overwatering can cause stem/root rot. It will self-sow, or basal offshoots can be separated in the fall.

Sun: full sun, part shade/savanna
Soil: mesic, wet-mesic, wet
Height: 2 to 3 feet

Fun facts: The Latin name comes from its use in treating syphilis. It was used in Appalachian folk medicine. Native Americans used it as a medicine, including treatment of poison ivy, ringworm, headaches, colds, open wounds, nosebleeds, and to prevent divorce. Bumblebees are attracted to the blossoms because they cannot see the color red and are drawn to the blue color. Look closely with a magnifying glass, and you will see the unique, 180-degree flip up on the lower lip.

Why plant MI native plants? Native plants bring diversity to your yard, increase the diversity of insects, and therefore create a more diverse food chain. They help create a full “circle of life” for insects and hence birds and other animals in the food chain. Native plants use a minimal amount of water, require minimal maintenance, require no chemicals, provide beautiful landscapes, and build a natural wildlife habitat.

One interesting feature about this TV is that it is equipped to receive "Phonevision." Phonevision was Zenith's effort t...
09/04/2020

One interesting feature about this TV is that it is equipped to receive "Phonevision." Phonevision was Zenith's effort to develop cable broadcasting. This system was used experimentally in the early 1950s in Illinois. It was not successfully adapted. Other manufacturers experimented with their own cable systems at this time. Cable was essentially a re-broadcast method at that time intended to serve areas that were inaccessible to over-the-air transmission and reception.

Object number: 97.16.1

What do you think this artifact was used for between 1859 and 1880?It is wood and cloth.
09/03/2020

What do you think this artifact was used for between 1859 and 1880?

It is wood and cloth.

All of our programs are going digital this year. Yesterday, we filmed Water Walker Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson for an up...
09/02/2020

All of our programs are going digital this year.

Yesterday, we filmed Water Walker Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson for an upcoming presentation.

Stay tuned here and on our website for more information.

What are you doing for the end of summer fun?Object number: 76.221
09/02/2020

What are you doing for the end of summer fun?

Object number: 76.221

3rd floor view of the Core Gallery and Time Pieces
09/01/2020

3rd floor view of the Core Gallery and Time Pieces

Today is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The very first Photo Documentary Project captured a moment from ...
09/01/2020

Today is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The very first Photo Documentary Project captured a moment from the 1984 Hispanic Festival in Bronson Park.

Object number: 84.331

08/31/2020
TheDadLab

A bit of science to brighten up a Monday morning.

Science project with a sprinkle of Love - the simplest electric motor with a rotating heart!
Both Alex and Max couldn't believe that the heart was actually rotating. We used one AA battery, about 20 cm of unplated copper wire and a cylinder-shaped magnet (any size of a magnet will work as long as it is a bit wider than the battery)
#TheDadLab #science

According to Mr. Todd's notes, this cabinet was made by advanced students of the Siamese schools. He purchased it in 191...
08/30/2020

According to Mr. Todd's notes, this cabinet was made by advanced students of the Siamese schools. He purchased it in 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco from the Commissioner General of Siam for $160.

Todd lent it to the Museum in 1927 and it became a gift in 1932 upon his death.

Object number: 32.782

Raise your hand if you know what this is? Bonus mummy points if you can guess the year it was made and the company
08/29/2020

Raise your hand if you know what this is? Bonus mummy points if you can guess the year it was made and the company

Check your school's website if not part of Kalamazoo Public Schools.
08/29/2020

Check your school's website if not part of Kalamazoo Public Schools.

UPDATE: Free meals for all KPS students will begin Monday at 23 sites. The distribution days next week are Monday, August 31 and Wednesday, September 2. After Labor Day they will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. 14 school and four non-school sites will provide grab-and-go meal packs from 11:30-12:30. In response to parent requests, five sites will have extended hours, 11:30-1:30. The extended hours sites are Hillside, Kalamazoo Central, Linden Grove, Milwood Magnet, and Northeastern. Anyone may pick the meals up for a student, but the student's named must be provided for accounting purposes.

This delicate pink invasive can take over a lawn or a field. It is easily transferred in hay, tires, pet fur, and shoe b...
08/28/2020

This delicate pink invasive can take over a lawn or a field. It is easily transferred in hay, tires, pet fur, and shoe bottoms, although wind is the main dispersal method. It arrived from Eurasia in the 1890’s and is a prohibited, noxious weed in Michigan. It threatens beaches, dunes, gardens, and sandy, forested areas. It eliminates food and shelter for insects, birds, and other wild life. It will crowd out wildflowers and grasses. With its deep taproot, it sucks up water faster than plants around it and emits a chemical that is poisonous to plants close by. This leaves bare ground that increases water runoff and causes erosion and diminished water quality. Knapweed can be controlled by pulling, bagging, and putting into organic compost, using an herbicide treatment after a hard frost, or, under special circumstances, burned. A species of weevil that eats the root and a species that eats the seeds are being used to reduce the invasive. Where weevils are introduced, it is estimated they will take 10 years to knock knapweed back.

Interesting facts: The seeds are viable for up to nine years. It is found in every Michigan county. It is a skin irritant. Northern Michigan beekeepers rely on this invasive for the sought-after late blooming knapweed (star thistle) honey for restaurants and homes across the country. It is the only late-blooming flower in Northern Michigan. Eliminating knapweed would eliminate the economic means (estimated $40 million annually) it provides beekeepers. Large areas of wildflowers are being planted in hopes of providing beekeepers an option for late-season pollen and nectar. Knapweed honey is light, mild, and zesty tasting, and is a monofloral honey, making it hard to replace.

Address

230 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI
49007

We are on block south of the Kalamazoo Transportation Center.

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We’re delighted to inform you that Kalamazoo Valley Museum has been selected as one of the best Science Centers in Michigan by Best of AmericanTowns, a property of AmericanTowns Media! Here is the link to the page: https://bestthingsmi.com/science-centers/ For over 15 years, AmericanTowns Media has been the leader in highlighting the incredible work of great local organizations and initiatives. Best of AmericanTowns offers the most interesting and unique places in America right to the fingertips of the user with the opportunity to browse the best places to eat, live, and visit. We are happy to spotlight the excellence you’ve achieved in your work and hope you’ll share this with your followers on Facebook and tag us @bestofamericantowns! #travelfreely