After 25 years in the making, the Music Makers Museum will open in spring 2016. This new museum will feature technologies and voices from America’s musical past. The museum starts with Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877 and travels through the age of radios, wire recorders, jukeboxes, vinyl records, tapes, iPods and all the technologies in between. Through exhibits and special programming, the museum explores how Americans have listened and collected music.
The museum is located in rural southeastern Ohio. The museum is an hour’s drive from Ohio’s major cities of Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. The museum will be open Thursday thru Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. for the general public. Monday thru Wednesday and after 5:00 P.M. will be reserved for group visits and special appointments.
The museum sprouted from the collection of Charlotte and Rodney Pack. “In traveling with a smaller version of the collection, we discovered children were really fascinated with the old technologies. Out of 200 children in the 2nd through 4th grade from Greenfield, Ohio, less than half knew what a cassette tape was. Forget anything beyond that,” said Charlotte Pack, Curator of the Music Makers Museum.
The children’s reactions inspired the Packs to take their twenty-five year collection and create a museum to share with the general public. Rodney’s has expertise as a collector, musician, electrician and general handy man. Charlotte worked as a Coordinator/Assistant Curator for the Wilmington College Peace Resource, which houses the largest collection outside of the United States on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These experiences have given the husband and wife team unique skills to present history in a fascinating manner. It is their love of preserving and sharing history that has led to this venture.
“What makes our museum unique is we are dedicated to how the average person listened and collected music. I don’t know of any other museum with this focus,” said Rodney Pack. The museum explores the following questions:
•What technology did people use to listen to music?
•Where did people listen to music?
•What music genre did people listen to?
•What events in American history affected music?
The Music Makers Museum’s mission is to make known voices and technologies from America’s musical past. It carries out this mission through the operations of a museum that collects, preserves and exhibits early technologies from the phonograph to the iPod. Special programming will be geared toward inspiration, education and entertainment for audiences of all ages.
Revisit the Upcoming Events to learn all the details of the grand opening.