Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
WillyMaeby

Fun Project for the NY Transit Museum

Recommended Posts

I presently work at the Transit Museum portraying a BRT Conductor from 1920. I travel through time to the present day to visit the BRT Standard, and tell school groups--in a hopefully entertaining way--a little about the subway and about being a conductor in 1920.

 

I'm hoping I can get from this forum some subway anecdotes, stories, advice, general ideas on a new "character" that will become a part of the museum's summer program in July.

 

The character is to be a "Subway Buff," who volunteers his time as an electrician on the opening of the Transit Exhibition in 1976. I thought to myself, "Who better to get touch with for help putting this project together than...well..subway buffs?"

 

In the presentation I'll actually be IN THE YEAR 1976 (or '77), talking to the children as if it's 1976 (or '77). I'll be leading the kids in a presentation/discussion about 1) New York culture 2) the subway system, and 3) electricity. Since the target audience is summer camp groups (as opposed to school groups) the actual transmission of information is secondary to giving the kids a fun time, and an appreciation--through laughter and wonder--of a bygone era. Hopefully I'll instill in them a bit of curiosity about the spirit and passion of the men and women who cared so deeply about the transit system that they volunteered enormous amounts of time to develop a temporary exhibition to salute it. (The exhibition, of course, proved so popular that it became the permanent museum we have now).

 

To give you an idea of the character I anticipate will emerge, his name will be A.C. Watts--an electrician who has volunteered his time to help get the new Subway Exhibition open. He's a little off-the wall and lots of fun. To make him kid-friendly A.C. will probably be wearing bell-bottom jeans and a Grateful Dead T-shirt (or tie-dye?) and will have a boom box with 70s music on it. Need to have my pockets stuffed with "buff stuff" (including some fun electricity demonstrations with magnets and fluorescent lightbulbs and magic tricks) which I can take out and make the kids gasp at (not just "look at." "Gasp at." It's only a twenty minute presentation performed several times a day, so every bit has gotta have maximal impact). I can envision A.C. talking about the Yankees while he takes be batteries out of his boombox to impress the kids with a quick construction of a homopolar motor.

 

BTW, this presentation is to mark the 35th anniversary of the opening of that original exhibition in 1976.

 

I'm open to ideas of all sorts! Let's play! Anybody?

 

Thanks--Jonathan Ellers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a good time with your Electrician project. Welcome to NYCTF. (NYC Transit Forums.)

Ideas/Suggestions

- Just tell a little bit about how nasty the subway was then (Don't show crime)

- Mix humor with facts

- Try to exaggerate a little bit in a good way

Wear the Tie Die shirt.

Nice Ideas like

- Pockets filled with "Buff Stuff"

- Talking About the Yankees while taking batteries out of you boombox to impress the kids with a quick construction of a homopolar motor.

Questions

- How old are the kids

- Will all of the presentations be the same

 

Jimmy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt RTO would paint a set of R46s with that old-school red white and blue with the stars, but it'd be cool. The 235th anniversary of the US being independent should be something.

 

Maybe get some older funk or disco for the boombox. There was plenty of great rock, but I don't think "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is a good transit or kid-friendly song.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

museum is really a source of entertainment for us because we have see a number of surprised things which are really shock us when we see them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a 1977 Grateful Dead Concert T-shirt. Think I'll go with that and move the time-period to '77 so I can talk about the blackout too. Now I gotta go read about THAT.

 

Thanks for posting--Jonathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have a good time with your Electrician project. Welcome to NYCTF. (NYC Transit Forums.)

Ideas/Suggestions

- Just tell a little bit about how nasty the subway was then (Don't show crime)

- Mix humor with facts

- Try to exaggerate a little bit in a good way

Wear the Tie Die shirt.

Nice Ideas like

- Pockets filled with "Buff Stuff"

- Talking About the Yankees while taking batteries out of you boombox to impress the kids with a quick construction of a homopolar motor.

Questions

- How old are the kids

- Will all of the presentations be the same

 

Jimmy

Thanks for the response. Yeah the presentations will all be BASICALLY the same, though there's wiggle room to make the presentation "younger" for tiny kids and "older" for, say, 3rd 4th 5th grade. I found some nice photos of the day in 1976 they moved the motor truck from the tracks to the platform for viewing purposes, so I think the motor truck might be a good place to start as it ties in both to the opening of the museum and the idea of electricity. Probably go from that into a little extreeeeeeeeemely simple visual explanation of Frank Sprague's innovations that made the NYC subway distinct. Any more ideas are welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.