Friday, April 8, 2011

We "Got" the Civil War Commemorations Right Here in Illinois-- Part 2

LAKE COUNTY DISCOVERY MUSEUM, WAUCONDA, ILLINOIS-- 27277 N. Forest Preserve Road, www.lakecountydiscoverymuseum.com (through Aug. 21st)

Current exhibit "Civil War High Tech" shows how firearm and other technology developments helped the Union win the war.

Museum director Justin Collins said: "Rather than doing a timeline of the war or the history of local units, we wanted to find a subject that was more suitable for our visitors with children and make the exhibit interactive."

That "interactive" is quite the catch-word in today's museums which make such a play to keep young folks interested.

Visitors get to see a Gatling Gun (forerunner of he machine gun) and listen to the sound of it firing as compared to the sound of a cannon. They can also step into the basket of a Union balloon and get a view of a battlefield.

Too often, museums overlook the Naval side of the war, but not this one. People can peer out of the turret of an ironclad (probably a monitor) and climb into a replica of the Confederate submarine Hunley which became the first sub ever to sink an enemy ship.

Collins also said that "Richard Gatling, who invented the Gatling Gun (and was from North Carolina), said he hoped it would deter armies from facing each other because it was such a devastating weapon--kind of the way we thought about nuclear weapons as being a deterrent to war."

I'll Definitely be Getting to This Exhibit One or More Times. --Old B-Runner

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