UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Agriculture enthusiasts, history buffs and others will have expanded opportunities to get a glimpse of America's agrarian past when Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum hosts a series of public open houses this fall. Typically open only by appointment and during the three days of Ag Progress Days in August, the museum will welcome visitors from 1-4 p.m. every Sunday during Penn State home football weekends:
--Sept. 4, 11, 25
--Oct. 9, 16, 30
Located on the Ag Progress Days site at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs -- nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45 -- the museum features hundreds of rare farm and home implements from the "muscle-power era," before the advent of electricity and gasoline-powered engines.
Museum curator Rita Graef said the open houses will help the public appreciate the time when energy for work was supplied by the power of humans and animals.
"By seeing and touching tools and equipment used in early agriculture and rural life, people will better understand how early technological developments led to modern-day technologies," she said.
"We are planning activities, demonstrations, lectures and tours that highlight the museum collection and connect agricultural history to the present day."
Noting that many of the museum's artifacts are in working condition, Graef said visitors at the open houses might see demonstrations such as a dog running a treadmill to churn butter, or wool being spun into yarn.