Friday, July 21, 2017

More Old Iron

It was 48 years ago … yesterday, that man landed on the moon and this piece of old iron (actually aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium) played a key role. It is now encased in plexiglass and on display at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum restoration center in Chantilly, Virginia.

It’s hard for some of us of a certain age who saw this all on television to grasp the fact that what still seems so futuristic is actually history and in our “rear view.” In a previous blog, we searched for "old iron" with Fenway the History Dog. In that case, we explored the changing use of technology and how it affected the historic landscape of Conway village. In a future blog, we will look at how old iron persists and has changed from utilitarian/functional to decorative and symbolic both as lawn sculpture and as interior decoration.

While the space race is now history, it's universe of "old metal" has not yet made it as lawn ornament. Wait that's wrong, as we have a Redstone rocket on display here in New Hampshire in a park in the town of Warren.

In the near future, as artifacts of the space age in fact age and obtain the patina of history, we may in fact see more and more of these items on display.

The development of space technology was spread out through the country. It still is. Recently Kennett High School students were involved in a project with NASA. You can learn about 3-d digital printing, wifi technology and robots through programs at the Conway Public Library. Some of the cooling fans used in the space race were developed by the global Sturtevant Company, that started with Benjamin Franklin Sturtevant and his wooden peg manufactory in Conway New Hampshire (across the mill pond from the blacksmith shop that was replaced by Stan's Auto Repair) - see the previous blog for maps and drawings.

So stay tuned for more adventures with Fenway the History Dog.

While the "rear view" of our truck was busted, Fenway served as co-pilot and looked back to see that the course was clear for us to proceed into the future while we glanced back at the past - back to the future, again.

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