Over There!

We at the United States Naval Academy Museum developed this exhibit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

Above you see the title graphics for the exhibit.

This is one of those exhibits that is “designed” mostly by the curator and developer.

My contribution was lots and lots of mount making and a few individual components, which I will cover below.

We had a case leftover from a previous exhibit, but it wasn’t deep enough to hold the big Red Vase that you see in the lower right. (We talked about the Red Vase so much that it began to be a proper noun.) So, I cut out a portion of the back panel and made a recess deep enough to hold the Red Vase. Of course, this meant that the sides of the case were no longer deep enough, so I scabbed on some extensions and veneered the outside.

I made a plinth for the Red Vase that conformed to the shape created by the recess and painted it so that it looks like it’s all one piece. The result:

I added the floating shelf and the brass rods for the small items to complete the piece.


We had this awesome scrapbook to display, but – of course – we can’t let people handle the artifacts. So, we decided to take a picture of each page and create an electronic scrapbook.

As above, I built the cabinet mostly from scrap. We had two displays leftover from the “Ability, Not Gender” exhibit. Time for a little math:



I added the case for the monitor and veneered it to match the case for the Red Vase. I loaded the images onto a BrightSign player and programmed it (via BrightAuthor) to scroll with the buttons.



We had two coins that we wanted to display so that the guests could see both sides, so I made a little gadget to spin them around. Since we have a lot of paper documents on display, the gallery is dimly lit. Because the coins are so dark, it is difficult to see the details. I decided to add photos and have the appropriate image light up with the corresponding position of the coin.



Below is an image of the mechanism. In the blue circle, you can see a magnet that is attached to the axle of the coin mount. Inside the red circle is the magnetic reed switch that lights the LEDs on the front of the panel. The set screw visible in the red circle allows the reed switch to be adjusted so that the light will come on at just the right moment in the spin.



Click on the image below to see a brief video that shows the operation.