Invention, technology and simple machines featured at Pasto Ag Museum Sept. 13

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The first in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum is scheduled for Sept. 13. The events are scheduled for Sundays after home football games.

"Our home football game open house series is a great time to experience the Pasto Agricultural Museum. We feature a different part of the collection from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday after home football games, so the experience for visitors is different each weekend," said Curator Rita Graef.

"We partner with Penn State faculty and researchers, other collections, and subject matter experts to explore the science and history of fiber, timbering, animal science, food preservation and more."

With the theme, "Invention and Technology and Simple Machines," the Sept. 13 open house will include hands-on displays so visitors can explore the mechanical advantage of pulleys, gears and levers.

"The museum collection includes a 35-foot-long lever that was used over 100 years ago as a stump-pulling machine," Graef said. "Simple machines made the work of agriculture possible with only muscle power, before tractors, electricity and gasoline engines."

The Pasto Agricultural Museum has partnered with Penn State Master Gardeners to install a kitchen garden, which will be harvested at the Sept. 13 open house. Experts will be on hand to offer advice on fall planting, fall crops and salads. Visitors to the museum can learn how to build a "grow box" for less than $20.

A presentation later in the afternoon at the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, a short walk from the museum, will offer visitors an inside look at the high tunnels and luffa gourd trellis planted in grow boxes.

pasto museum lower photo

Simple machines made the work of agriculture possible with only muscle power, before tractors, electricity and gasoline engines.

Image: Penn State

Other open houses this fall will feature the following themes:

-- Sept. 20: Food preservation and Penn State Master Gardeners

--Sept. 27: Forest and Trees

-- Oct. 4: Focus on Fibers

-- Oct.11: Penn State PAC Herbarium

--Nov. 1: Penn State Arboretum and Penn State Master Gardeners

--Nov. 22: Ice Cream Social Celebration, which will feature dairy and animal science and the Creamery’s 150th anniversary

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.

More information on the museum and its open houses is available online. To receive information and event reminders via email, send a message to PastoAgMuseum@psu.edu. Contact Graef at 814-863-1383 or by email at rsg7@psu.edu. Follow the museum on Facebook.

Operated by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Pasto Museum is located on the Ag Progress Days site at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs — 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. The museum features hundreds of rare farm and home implements from the era before the advent of electricity and gasoline-powered engines.

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Last Updated September 02, 2015