The Wagner Museum

For today’s class, it was spent at the Wagner Museum right near Temple’s campus. It was fascinating to see how off campus housing for students has surrounded the preserved historic site. A way for the museum to reach out and gain some more attraction might be to reach out to Temple as an institution. It seemed that the class, as history majors, found it to be interesting. Students from the school of science and technology may like to also be exposed to what Wagner has to offer if they are interested in ecology, biology, or other areas of natural science. The Wagner should reach out to professors to have their students who may be interested explore the museum since it is so close to campus and free.

It was a bit hard to imagine that the museum was supposed to be for the public to learn about natural sciences in the 1890s with the way it is set up. Looking at the cards that labeled the specimen, I even had a hard time understanding what some of the items were. Most items had their Latin names written down to describe what they are, but how much of the public actually knew Latin in the late nineteenth century. Along with that, it also made me wonder how much of the population was literate. Another obstacle that may have occurred was with the minerals, who had their scientific compounds on the label. I took advanced classes of chemistry in high school and a class in college, but did not know what made up some of the minerals.

The Wagner also has me wanting to learn more about natural history museums. There was a display about taxidermy that I enjoyed since I had no idea how it was done. The Wagner also seemed to show how the creation of the museum was what Wagner seemed to dedicate his time, besides being a merchant. Collecting over 100,000 items for the displays and finding what was on display fascinated me since there was so much. The trip has me wanting to go and visit more museums like it.

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