The Curious Vault

Gems and Minerals and ….. Dinosaurs

What might you find if you start digging in the right place at the right time? You might just find precious gems, beautiful minerals, and, if you’re very lucky, a dinosaur! But next weekend, March 29/30, you don’t have to … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 008: Birds

South Florida has a long relationship with taxidermy, one that can be illustrated through the life of locally renowned sportsman and taxidermist Al Pflueger. According to a fascinating Sports Illustrated article from the 1970s Pflueger perfected a great deal of … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 006: Spitz Model B

Found on a particularly exciting day scouring the stacks of The Curious Vault was a Spitz Model B Planetarium Star Projector circa 1954. It is approximately 14 ½ inches tall and 4 ½ inches wide. This unit was developed by … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 005: Seminole Dolls

The eccentric ethnomusicologist and collector Harry Smith was filmed offering explanations and instructions to officials at the Smithsonian Institute about his vast donation, including a stack of Seminole patchwork. He explains that the fabric should not be touched (despite not … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 004: J.P. Friez’s Electrical Sunshine Recorder

“I manufacture but one type of these Registers: THE BEST.” -Julien P. Friez In the late 19th century, Julien P. Friez  (1850-1916) and his Baltimore based company began mass producing highly technical weather monitoring systems, and provided many technical instruments to … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 003: Mr. Williamson’s Submarine Tube

“I call this my magic window.” -Captain Nemo from the 1916 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea The Roy Miner Collection was donated to Miami Science Museum in 1976 and sat untouched in the archives room until it was re-discovered … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 002: Turtles

A living fossil, sea turtles still nest up and down the busy and overbuilt South Florida coast and travel past our shores throughout the year. The various species of ocean roaming turtle are approximately 200-300 million years old but because … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 001: Calcite

  Tucked away on a high shelf in the collections room of the Museum of Science is a startlingly unique rock specimen. It is white with long jutting crystal arms and made of a fragile mineral called calcite. The piece … Continue reading

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