Friday, July 31, 2009

Recent Upgrades to the State Museum's Anthropology and Archaeology Gallery are Lean and Green

Over the past several months aging and power hungry light fixtures throughout the Anthropology and Archaeology Gallery have been replaced with more efficient and energy friendly fiber-optics and LEDs. These efforts have resulted in the reduction in electricity consumption from 92,800 kilowatt hours to 1,400 kilowatt hours over the lifetime of the fixtures. The cost savings are estimated to be roughly a thousand dollars per year and over $15,000 over their lifetime. The necessary electronics fabrication expertise was provided by the State Museum’s own A/V guru, Alan Byler. Kudos to Alan for his LED solutions in the Culture History Dioramas.

In addition to the reduced electricity consumption, the recycling of two mannequins from the Mastodon exhibit to the Delaware Indian Village has contributed to cost savings. With the Mastodon exhibit on the third floor undergoing major renovations, the Section of Archaeology has made good use of two mannequins in the village exhibit. Instead of wasting the figures by tossing them into the dumpster they’ve been incorporated into the village life scenes. With the help of exhibits fabricator Jonathan Schreffler, one figure has been transformed from cringing in front of a Pleistocene pachyderm to a more routine activity of 16th century Delaware life, scraping a deer hide in preparation for use as clothing. Also, a toddler girl was refurbished and added to the village, contributing some childhood energy to the overall scene. Thanks to Jonathan’s skills, this creative re-use of exhibit materials is not only a major cost savings, but also an aesthetic success.

Look for more energy aware and carbon conscience enhancements to the galleries in the future as the The State Museum continues to interpret and exhibit our shared heritage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

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