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Discovery Trunks

Discovery Trunks are self-contained footlockers filled with artifacts, each to fit a particular historical theme. They are designed to take the museum experience into the classroom which allows students the freedom of touching, operating and trying on objects from our past. The trunks include classroom activities and background narratives which can be adapted to a teacher’s particular need.

There is NO FEE to borrow Discovery Trunks.

Contact Summit County Historical Society (330.535.1120) to reserve any of the twelve trunks.

Discovery Trunks are suitable for use in schools, libraries, with scouting groups, and universities.

Choose from the following:

#1 Akron Over There: Akron’s “B” battery fights in WWI

Young men from Summit County embark on what they anticipate will be a great adventure - WWI - and run head-on into the first total industrial war. Included is the equipment from real soldiers experience - such as helmets, gas mask, mess kit, and censured letters from “over there”. Visualize what it was like to spend time in the trenches.

#2 The Victorian Woman: The “ideal” American woman at the turn of the century

This trunk helps define the “ideal” Victorian woman as popular writers of the late 19th and early 20th century pictured her. Although not completely ruled by definition, the “proper” Victorian woman adhered closely to ideals, and had few options. Included in this trunk are items which examine woman’s fashions of the time, dolls, household appliances, plus glimpses into what were considered accepted vocations for woman.

#3 Send No Money: The creation of the American consumer

Before the 1890’s, it was difficult to get supplies for daily life - you couldn’t just run down to the corner store when you needed something. The arrival of mass manufacturing techniques, an efficient postal service, and the disposable income of a prosperous time allowed mail-order catalogues to flourish, ushering in the age of American consumerism. Included in this trunk are a 1902 Sears catalogue and items that could be purchased by mail.

#4 Lighter Than Air: Akron’s airship industry

The familiar buzz of the Goodyear blimp floating over the skies of Akron harkens back to a time when these great airships were built in the Rubber City. This trunk tells the story of Akron’s airship industry using material samples from real blimps and rigid airships, such as internal structural pieces. (Duralumin), gas bag fabric, rubberized outer skin, and computerized messaging lights. Also includes a videotape of how blimps are used today

#5 A Visit To The Mansion: A preview of the Perkins Stone Mansion

Those anticipating a visit to Akron’s famous “home on the hill” can learn about the Simon Perkins family, life in the 19th century and Summit County history by examining a railroad lamp, a tongue plane, a cherry stoner, an Edison phonograph record, a shawl and a kitchen mortar and pestle.

#6 In Search Of A Dream: African-American migration to Akron from 1910-1930

Between 1910-1930, Akron was one of the fastest growing cities in North America, largely due to the migration of people to fill jobs in the burgeoning rubber industry. Many new arrivals were African-Americans from the rural south coming to town dreaming of a better life. This trunk helps students interpret those
experiences by examining artifacts of vocations open to African-Americans-such as a barber mug, folding typewriter, cobbler’s hammer, wash board and baseball shoe.

#7 The Age Of Aquarius: Life in the tumultuous 1960’s

In the 1960’s the times they were a-changing’. From civil rights, campus unrest, and the Vietnam War, to men walking on the moon, mini-skirts, rock n’ roll and the counterculture, the sixties helped shape life as we know it today. Examine LP records, magazines, reproduction of a draft card, bell-bottoms and a Jimi Hendrix poster.

#8 Canal Trunk

Akron owes its founding to the Ohio and Erie Canal which was routed from Summit Lake to Lake Erie, and eventually connected to the Ohio River allowing Akron to grow as a city and a center of industry. This trunk is a great introduction to Akron’s past and present..

#9 John Brown, Slavery, Abolition And The Underground Railroad

This “trunk” contains primary sources, books, photos, documents, maps, reproduction clothing and artifacts, a model of a cotton gin, plus much more. Included are lesson plans, vocabulary words, classroom activities, primary sources and curriculum, all which meet the Ohio Academic Standards/Benchmarks.

#10 Akron General Health System 100th Anniversary Trunk

This discovery trunk highlights heart health and brain protection. Included in the trunk are stethoscopes, take-apart hearts and brains, activities, a timeline, vocabulary and much more.