“How do you text with this thing?” was a question asked by a student recently at the display of early telephones at the Florida Pioneer Museum in Florida City.
The exhibit also features typewriters, cash registers, even an old Edison phonograph. And they still work.
Museum organizers have gathered together what used to be the “mechanical wonders” of their day when they were introduced in the early 1900s. One hundred years ago these machines went into American homes and businesses at a rapid rate.
The newest section of the exhibit features typewriters from their earliest years through the 1940s.
Terry Naumann and Karon Grunwell Buckley teamed up to research the history of the museum’s typewriters and found that in the early days there was no standard keyboard. Many of the earliest models had unique keyboards and the keys also struck the paper in unusual ways. On some models, they found typists could not even see what was typed. They literally typed in the blind.
There was a typewriter sold by Sears manufactured in England, a Smith Premier with seven levels of keys as opposed to the current five, and an Oliver typewriter that used hexagonal keys with two different and unrelated values for each key.
One machine is a veteran of World War II, organizers said. It served the Army Signal Corps, probably at a South Florida base, before being given to the Homestead Post Office.
The collection includes an early electric typewriter—an Underwood Model 12 from 1947-48, and small, light aluminum models made for newspaper reporters. These are tiny and would practically fold up so they could fit in a briefcase for the journalist on the go.
Learn more about how we got to where we are at this machine exhibit, a great activity for families, clubs, school classes, scouts and anyone else curious about these once-modern marvels.
The Florida Pioneer Museum is open free to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and is located at 826 N. Krome Ave. in Florida City. Group tours can be arranged by sending email to email@example.com or by calling 305-248-0976.
BOWLING FOR KIDS
There’s still time to register for the fifth annual Jon Jay FMSbonds Celebrity Bowling Challenge on Jan. 16. The event will feature bowling with Jay and other Major League Baseball players and proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Project Learn after-school program.
Jay, a St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder, World Series Champion and Miami native, will host. The event is open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. at Splitsville Lanes, 5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami.
The fun-filled fundraising event will include red carpet arrivals, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, exciting bowling matches and more. Sponsorships are available.
“We’re very thankful that Jon Jay is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade for the fifth consecutive year to offer this exciting community event,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade in a release. “Through the efforts of Jon and many others who support Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, we are able to continue to make a difference in the lives of many area youth.”
Individual tickets are $475 per bowling team of five people, $125 per individual bowler with single bowlers matched with other single bowlers, and $75 per individual non-bowler. Event sponsorships range from $2,000 to $10,000.
“The enthusiastic response to this event has been fantastic over the past five years, and we’re looking forward to raising even more funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade in 2016,” said Jay in a release.
AQUARIUS, UNDERWATER LAB
The next meeting of the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest will feature Michael Heithaus, Dean of Florida International University College of Arts & Sciences, who will discuss the “Underwater Laboratory – Aquarius,” 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Jan. 12 at Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd.
As January is Rotary Awareness Month, David Mountford, president of the Coconut Creek Rotary Club, will provide an informative program on Jan. 26 about Rotarians for Hope, the new South Florida Rotary district committee he chairs.
In February, the club will have a theme focusing on the FBI and its role in combating crime in South Florida. The meeting Feb. 9 will feature former FBI agent Sam Martinez, author of Systemic Evil: Mat Perez v. The FBI. And on Feb. 23, Jeff Green, FBI Community Outreach Coordinator, will talk about “Emerging Crime & Security Threats in the Miami Area.”
Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest meets for breakfast on the second and fourth Tuesday morning of each month to discuss community service projects and hear interesting speakers. For more information, contact Ron Lieberman, 305-613-6744, firstname.lastname@example.org or Howard Horowitz, 786-346-6661 or email@example.com.
The Rotary Club is now conducting its Winter Membership Drive and is looking for members to fill the open classifications of journalist, dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, dentist, publicist, computer tech, security service, plumber, printer, architect, electrician, clergy, automotive mechanic and several attorney and physician sub-classifications. Members are professionals and business executives who live and/or work in the Kendall/Pinecrest area.
MEET NEW NEIGHBORS
Start the New Year with an outing to meet the active members and guests of the New Neighbors Club of South Florida. This group meets regularly to introduce residents, and those new to the community, to fun activities and events in friendly surroundings.
The club invites you to the next luncheon, featuring singer and comedian Errol Dante, at 11:30 a.m., Jan. 13 at Devon’s Seafood + Steak at 11715 Sherri Lane in the Town and Country Mall in Kendall. Doors open at Devon’s at 11:30 a.m. There is no early entry. The luncheon and program begin at noon. The cost of this event is $23. Reservations are required. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-595-0213, no later than Jan. 10th at 6 p.m.
Dante is a native New Yorker with an extensive background in performing. According to event organizers “he sang at Carnegie Hall, was a production singer for the Copacabana, and toured the world entertaining in nightclubs and luxury cruise ships.” He moved to South Florida in 1995 where he continues to perform.
To learn more about the New Neighbors Club of South Dade’s mission and events, check out http://newneighborssouthdade.webs.com/.
CAN YOU SEE FOREVER?
Look into the night skies with Southern Cross Astro Roberto Torres, as he shares his experiences of searching the cosmos with basic equipment and filters. Torres has been observing the skies from his home in Cutler Bay for years and has much experience in how to look.
He will present “You Can See Forever” 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Florida International University Physics Lecture Hall CP-145 at the Modesto A. Maidique campus, 11200 SW Eighth St. Park in the FIU campus garage, in visitor or faculty spaces, at Southwest 109th Avenue and Eighth Street. Follow the SCAS signs across the campus road and patio into CP-145.
The program is free and open to the public.
At the “You Can See Forever” program, attendees are invited to bring their Christmas telescopes or older models that need an upgrade. SCAS members will be on hand to help with guidance to enjoying fully this family hobby that can last a lifetime.
The free SCAS programs include prizes, food buffet, discussions and advice from distinguished speakers. To learn more about this very active group call 305-661-1375 or visit http://scas.org/ or on the Facebook page for SCAS.
The group’s Winter Star Party is coming up in February. You can register to attend on the website.
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at email@example.com.