The Curious Vault

The Curious Vault 011: Platypus

The platypus is fascinating. It is both cute and magically bizarre in a fashion typically only reserved for fairy tales and myth. With so many different anatomical anomalies—the duckbilled, beaver tailed, otter footed, egg laying, and poison spur bearing mammal— … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 010: Aviation Innovation

Perhaps the defining moment of scouring through the Albert A. Green archive in the Curious Vault was found on the backside of a 8×10 photo depicting a small device that looks like a vintage keychain mixed with a fishing lure. … Continue reading

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Curious Vault Collaborations 001

Art and science tend to be separated in people’s minds. They are separate classroom subjects. They are (usually) housed in separate museums. One is expression, and the other is understanding. But if art is all about experimenting with the expression … Continue reading

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The Curious Vault 009: Pre-Columbian Collection Assessment

Recently in the Curious Vault a selection of ten stone figurines were given a careful second look. They are simple human figures, male and female, beautifully small and precise. To the untrained eye, they may not appear like much, but … Continue reading

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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 007: Shells

A significant portion of the 55,000 objects within the Curious Vault of the Miami Science Museum is comprised of innumerable shell specimens. It seems nearly impossible to quantify given the sheer amount, but shells, as anyone who has explored the … 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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