The Cradle of Aviation

Tina Staniscia, Rachel Obergh, Brandon H., and Lilly Weilacher

Aviation has made an impactful presence on Long Island within the past 80 years. From transportation, luxury planes and war planes, Long Island has helped change flight into what we know it as today. There has been many accomplishments and advances made on Long Island for aviation. Many famous pilots have taken off from the airfields where the Cradle of Aviation Museum now stands. During wars factories such as Grumman on Long Island helped develop and produce much of the United State’s aerial arsenal.

One of the most important factors that made Long Island so valuable for flight was its geographic features. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the Eastern side of the United States instantly made it perfect for intercontinental travel and transportation. Nassau County, the main area for take offs and landings was full flat grassy areas away from trees and buildings. The ideal conditions for a pilot to want to land on.  

Many famous pilots have flown out of various sites on Long Island. The most famous being Charles Lindbergh. On May 20th 1927 he took off for Paris from Roosevelt field in his Spirit of St. Louis. It took him 33 ½ hours to fly across the Atlantic and land in Paris. With his only guide being his magnetic compass, he became the first person to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic. This was one of the many accomplishments of Long Island Aviation.  

Brunner Winkle Bird  

This three-seat biplane was the turning point into the Golden age of Aviation . Designed for leisure purposes, this became one of the most common airplanes flown in and out of Long Island. Many famous individuals owned one such as the Lindbergh Family. Charles Lindbergh taught his wife to fly and obtain her pilot’s license on this plane because of its reliability. This version in the Cradle of Aviation was flown by Elinor Smith. She flew around the same time as Amelia Earhart however did not get the same publicity but is known for being a better pilot. One time she flew in this plane under all the East River Bridges which was highly illegal! Although an excellent form of aircraft, production came to a halt when there was more of a need for transportation and industrial planes.

In 2004, Congress officially recognized Dayton, Ohio as the “birthplace of aviation”. This is when the Wright Brothers, in 1911, accomplished the first powered flight in the world. After visiting the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island though, there is no doubt that this is where the future of commercial air transportation and the reality of space flight came to fruition.  

The facility covers about 150,000 square feet and houses over 75 original and replica aircraft. On location is a planetarium, IMAX theatre, 30 seat motion simulator, and a century old working carousel right next door. Eight interactive galleries cover over 100 years of aviation and aerospace history. With how the exhibits are organized and laid out, a museum goer can get up close to just about everything on display. Since the areas within the space are in chronological order, one can really go on a journey, following and learning so much about aviation.

People of all ages are welcome. School field trips, birthday parties, and even weddings take place regularly at the museum. It is about a two hour drive from New Paltz, making for a perfect day trip.  Tickets range from $9 to $20. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

As we explore the rich history of aircraft through the many eras of aviation, it is imperative that we first look back to the late eightieth century to see how this innovative drive commenced. During the peak of aviation interest during this time period, Professor Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was one of many leading scientific figures in the United States in the early nineteenth century, well known for his advancements in aviation research. Over the course of the 1890’s, Langley had drafted and tested a myriad of different aircraft designs, most of which ended in failure. Eventually, Langley had created his new model dubbed the “Langley Aerodrome No. 5” and in May of 1896, it had managed two spectacular feats, making circular flights of 3,300 and 2,300 feet, at a maximum altitude of some 80 to 100 feet and at a speed of some 20 to 25 miles an hour.

It is important to note that the model on display in the Cradle of Aviation Museum is a replica, so my physical descriptions will be based on the original model. The No.5 had a metal tube-fuselage structure that stored the boiler, engine and other components that made up its propulsion system. The wings and tail were wood-frame, covered with fine silk, that spanned 13 feet and 8 inches. Moreover, the No.5 was connected by many strings that held many of its parts together, a common feat for my aircrafts during this time period. The power plant was a single-cylinder, one-horsepower steam engine outfitted with a double-action piston with a slide valve, and a flashtube boiler fired by a pressure burner that vaporized gasoline. The engine drove twin propellers, centrally mounted between the front and rear sets of wings, through a system of shafts and bevel gears. The aircraft weighed approximately 11kg (24.3 lb) ready for flight. Although the model on display is only a replica, this object both physically and symbolically represents the passion and innovation that defined this era of aviation.

Now, moving forward almost eight decades from the Langley Aerodrome #5, we come to another piece, known as the most historically significant vehicle ever built on Long Island: the Grumman Lunar Module. This specific module on display at the museum is the LM-13, which is one of only three surviving lunar modules. The modules were part of a larger project initiated in 1962 known as the Project Apollo Lunar Module, of which the Grumman Corporation was at the head. This craft would have had the ability to release from the Command Module and land on the moon, and then return to the Command. In its physical appearance, the lunar module seems quite simple from the exterior, being designed for neither impressive attractiveness nor aerodynamics. It measures to about 23 feet in height and 31 feet wide, weighing 8,600 pounds. Though this module still exists because its intended mission–the Apollo 19 journey to Copernicus Crater in 1973–was cancelled, it would have had the potential to reach 17,500 miles per hour. The craft is made up of very light and thin metals which was necessary for it to reach it destination without consuming a large amount of fuel. The exterior is covered in golf, silver, and black thermal shielding. Though this is an object which was an example of the immense advancements in technology and innovation, it is also a representation of the drive of discovery and spirit of aviation.


“The Brunner Winkle Bird at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.” Cradle of Aviation Museum,

“Charles Lindbergh Collection.” Missouri Digital Heritage Hosted Collections,

“Cradle of Aviation Museum.” Cradle of Aviation Museum | New York Heritage,

“Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, Long Island, NY 11530 • 516-572-4111.” Cradle of Aviation Museum,

Cradle of Aviation Museum. Langley Aerodrome #5 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. 2019,  

Gray, Carroll. “Samuel Pierpont Langley.” FLYING MACHINES – Samuel P. Langley, 2015,

“Grumman Lunar Module LM-13 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.” Cradle of Aviation Museum,

“Long Island, New York’s Cradle of Aviation Museum Celebrates the Rich Heritage of the Region.” Warbirds News, 2 Aug. 2013,

McFarland, Stephen L. “A Concise History of the U.S. Air Force.” 1997, p. 2.,  

“Milestones:Grumman Lunar Module, 1962-1972.” Milestones:Grumman Lunar Module, 1962-1972 – Engineering and Technology History Wiki, 2011,,_1962-1972.

National Air and Space Museum. Langley Aerodrome Number 5. 21 Feb. 2019,

Stoff, Joshua. Historic Aircraft and Spacecraft in the Cradle of Aviation Museum. Dover Publications, 2001.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

Carly Walsh, Olivia Porcari, Helen Zhang, and Ellie Condelles

The Museum of Jewish History began construction in 1994, after years of planning, designing, and gathering materials for the collection. Located in Battery Park in new York City, the museum is close to the statue of liberty and the world trade center memorial. Elie Wiesel was an honorary chairmen of the collection and part of the dedication ceremony on September 11, 1997. His contributions to the collection as a Holocaust survivor were a true inspiration to the museum, and continue to inspire after his passing in 2016. Wiesel’s memory was also honored during the museum’s 2017 International Holocaust Remembrance Day, where they paid him tribute through a live streaming of his book, Night. The Museum of Jewish History opened officially on September 15, 1997, with the mission to continue to educate others about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust, focused on teaching the painful ways of the past to guide visions towards a worthy future.

The museum’s original cost was over $20 million dollars, not including expansions made to the collection over the years. Funded by generous supporters including, Heritage Members, Benefactors, Patrons, and Sponsors, the museum has a strong connection to the community. Tickets range from $8-$25 depending age category, whether or not you are a museum member and type of tour, providing visitors with a variety of options to choose from when planning a visit.

Every aspect of The Museum of Jewish History is designed to tell a story. It’s expertly crafted architecture speaks to the museum’s commitment to Jewish life and culture. The building’s six-sided shape and six-tiered roof rising 85 feet in the air are reminders of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, as well being reminiscent of the six-pointed Star of David. The location and physical environment of the museum were carefully chosen and planned: the museum overlooks the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (a reminder of American values) and is only minutes away from the 9/11 memorial (an ode to other tragedies). Wagner Park, adjacent to the museum, is conducive to the Hudson River landscape while still reflecting the Jewish concept of mysticism. Inside, the core exhibition is separated into three distinct parts, organized chronologically: Jewish Life A Century Ago, The War Against the Jews, and Jewish Renewal. The first floor explores vibrant and multifaceted Jewish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; covered such topics as life cycles, holidays, community, occupations, and synagogues; the second relays the history of the Holocaust from the point of view of Jews who lived through it, using their own artifacts, photographs, testimony, and historical footage; and finally the third focuses on how Jewish individuals and communities rebuilt their lives after the Holocaust and continue to thrive in the 21st century.

The Garden of Stones is the most popular collection piece at the museum. Andy Goldsworthy wanted Holocaust survivors to see that there is still life and beauty after a genocide. The display is visible from every floor of the museum and has been placed outside on the terrace. Each rock has drill holes, where young dwarf trees are growing. They can grow up to 12 feet over a period of a decade. The trunk of the tree has molded itself into the stone, making it one and the same. When you look inside the hole, it’s not hollowed out, but rather the roots of the tree have inserted itself into the other parts of the rock. Andy Goldsworthy wanted his audience to see something impossible, like trees growing out of rocks. For a tree to grow out of a non-living thing, illustrates the ability for Holocaust survivors to grow even after what they have been through. A quote from the artist, “Amidst the mass of stone, the trees will appear as fragile, vulnerable flickers of life — an expression of hope for the future. The stone is not mere containers. The partnership between tree and stone will be stronger from having grown from the stone.” In other words, Andy Goldsworthy knew that trees can be seen as this vulnerable living organism, but it’s a living thing and therefore, it brings hope and life for the future. The stones are not just containers for the display, but rather supporters of the tree. Together they can be stronger, since they grew from each other. Andy Goldsworthy also meticulously chose the place of display outside the museum because in the distance, visitors could see the Statue of Liberty and remember the rush of immigrants into America, while remembering the lost lives in the building behind them. He wanted the visitors to see that there’s still happiness in mourning.

Eyewitness: Photographs of Holocaust Survivors is a collection of portraits of survivors who live in New York City. There are 31 photographs in the collection, which was the museum’s first public art installation. The images are all between four and thirteen feet high, filling the outside windows of the museum as well as the windows along the Reflection Passage on the third floor. The people in the images are members of the Museum’s Speakers Bureau and also served as the Gallery Educators. The first photograph is of Leon Gleicher, who survived the Holocaust, but lost every member of his immediate family: his mother, father, two brothers and younger sister. He was able to escape from a ghetto in Poland and ended up fighting with Russian Partisans. This photograph is an important part of this collection because it exudes notions of strength. The man in the photo is choosing to wear his yarmulke; he is choosing to reclaim his Jewish identity in a way that many may have been afraid to do. The smile on his face suggests contentment, and the wrinkles are the result of a life full of hardship and loss. The second photograph is a portrait of Inge Auerbacher. She is wearing the star of David, perhaps the star she was forced to wear doing the Holocaust. This star seems to be part of her identity. Her choice to wear the star after all these years speaks volumes to what she has experienced. During the Holocaust, she was forced to wear it as a marker of exclusion, isolation, and difference. Now, she wears it by choice to outwardly present her Jewish identity in a way she can be proud of. There are many more photographs, but we have decided to focus on these two.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage is a museum we recommend others to check out the next time they are in the city. There are lots of windows and natural light shining through, even though the lower levels are darker than the upper levels. Last time one of us went to visit the museum, the tour guide told us to be aware of our surroundings and how the light will change as we go up in the museum. The first floor was dark and had many artifacts and objects that were left from the Holocaust, people’s belonging and pictures of the concentration camps. As we ascended to the second floor, there was a little bit more lightening. When we got to the third floor, there was natural lighting and a few spotlights on certain photographs. The tour guide pointed out that the museum wanted to show that even though things were tough and ugly, eventually it got better, people survived and were able to tell their story to those who listened. On the third floor, there were artifacts and photographs from other genocides and how they were just as cruel and horrible. At one point, the third floor had wall to wall glass windows and doors where visitors could step outside to see the Garden of Stones. There was even a cafe where visitors could buy Jewish baked goods and sit and watch the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. It was peaceful and quiet on this floor and when visitors step out into the Garden, it’s a whole new space, that’s open and inviting. The Museum wanted visitors to see the devastation that the Holocaust had bought to many, but also the life it can bring when life goes on.


“Current Exhibitions.” Museum of Jewish Heritage,

“Eyewitness: Photographs of Holocaust Survivors by B.A. Vane Sise.” Museum of Jewish Heritage,

Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to The Holocaust.” 2 April 2017.   

Shapiro, Benjamin. “Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones.” Museum of Jewish Heritage, 30 November 2017,

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Brooke, Chris, Gabi, Robyn

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was erected to memorialize the events of September 11th, 2001, and February 23rd, 1993.  On both of these dates, the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. On February 23rd, a truck bomb was detonated below the World Trade Center. Six died and thousands were injured, though little structural damage was done.  After this attack, several safety measures were improved and implemented, these new safety features are often credited with the survival of many after the second attack. On September 11th, 2001, four passenger planes were hijacked, one crashed into the Pentagon, two crashed into the Twin Towers, and one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. 184 people were killed both in the Pentagon and aboard the plane which crashed into it. The two planes that crashed into the Twin Towers lead both the North and South towers to collapse, killing over 2,500 people and leaving thousands more injured. On the fourth plane, the 40 crew members and passengers were killed.  These events were devastating and continue to impact society today.

It is suggested that one looks up the museum prior to arrival in order to know what to expect, especially for younger audiences. The official 9/11 Memorial and Museum website has a warning that the material may not be appropriate for children under 10, though they do have an online self-guided tour should an adult decide to bring a child there.  The average time spent inside the museum is two hours, and ticket prices range from $15-$26, with discounts offered to children, college students, and U.S. veterans. However, the memorial with the names of all those who died is located outside of the museum and is free.

The Memorial Twin Reflecting pools are located within footsteps of where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into the bronze panels edging the Memorial Pools. The Memorial Museum itself is located quite uniquely. It is within and surrounded by remnants of the original World Trade Center site this is known as the archaeological heart of the World Trade Center.  It contains a permanent collection of more than 11,000 artifacts including ephemera, textiles, artwork, oral histories, books and manuscripts. Also, it possesses over 300 moving images, and more than 40,000 print and digital photographs. The largest of the spaces inside the Museum is Foundation Hall. Here, there is a room with ceilings ranging from 40 to 60 feet high and nearly 15,000 square feet of floor space. Within this room is the slurry wall. The slurry wall is a retaining wall originally built to hold back the Hudson river, as well as the remnants of cutoff box columns that once formed the exterior structure of the Twin Towers.

The museum is broken into two main exhibitions: the Historical Exhibition and the Memorial Exhibition. The Historical Exhibition is split into three parts: before 9/11, the day of 9/11, and after 9/11.  The Memorial Exhibition commemorates the lives of those who perished on both February 23rd, 1993 and September 11th, 2001. This exhibition contains several interactive exhibits.

One of the most significant collections this museum is the Tribute Collection. This is a larger collection of objects, consisting of multiple sub-sections, that came together through compiling items from those who lost loved ones during the attack, or were merely affected in some manner. Tanya Hoggard, a flight attendant who volunteered at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks, is responsible for organizing the specific tribute collection known as the “Dear Hero” collection. She recognized that children were coming to show their support from around the natio by delivering letters and artwork to the firefighters and recovery workers who were present the day of and after the fact. Seeing just how positive of an impact this had on those involved, she began compiling these “objects” to ensure they would be preserved and eventually become part of a larger collection, which became the 9/11 Memorial Collection.

Inside the 9/11 Memorial Collection, there are a myriad of structural objects which help shed light on the fateful events on the morning of September 11th, 2001. After extensive research, our group has narrowed down the entire collection of recovered architectural artifacts to three objects: An elevator motor, a staircase, and a small collection of glass fragments from a shattered window. Each of these objects tells a story of how people stuck in the World Trade Center (WTC) attempted to escape the deadly terrorist attack.

The museum contains several objects that have been donated by families and friends of those who perished.  These objects include photographs, notes, momentos, videos, and even voice recordings. Today, the museum continues to reach out to the families of those who died in order to share their stories.  A family member or friend can bring objects to the museum, mail them, or even create a recording of themselves talking about the person being memorialized and submit it to the museum via internet, phone, or in person.

Works Cited:

Editors, “9/11 Timeline.”, A&E Television Networks, 21 June 2011,

“Home | National September 11 Memorial & Museum.” Home | National September 11 Memorial & Museum,

Kennicott, Philip. “The 9/11 Memorial Museum Doesn’t Just Display Artifacts, It Ritualizes Grief on a Loop.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 June 2014,

Introduction to The Frick Collection

Marisa, Nick, Katie, Isabelle

The Frick Collection is a one-of-a-kind personal collection that has become a public museum in Manhattan. Henry Clay Frick was an industrialist and art collector who devoted his last dying wish to sustain his collection in a way that was public and intentional. This has become a museum that is esteemed and sensational. Our central theme surrounding this collection revolves around the extravagance of it all. This ties into various aspects of the Frick: the extravagance of the home itself, the uncanny nature of the contents of the collection, and how although many of the pieces in this collection are vastly different, they share a common thread of being over-the-top in their own respect. This is a very unconventional situation; art collections are extremely personal. An art connoisseur putting their entire collection—all of the fanciful objects compiled with millions and millions of dollars—on display in a public museum after they died to allow the public to experience it is exceedingly extravagant.

Henry Clay Frick was involved in what some describe as “dirty” industries; oil, coke and steel. His desire for collecting art stemmed from a desire for greater respectability. Frick began collecting Old Masters before he left Pittsburgh behind in pursuit of New York in 1905. A large sum of his wealth came from a court settlement which was a result of his inability to work or see eye to eye with Andrew Carnegie. This settlement allotted him $30 million in securities, a great sum to further pursue the collection of fine art. Acquisitions of pieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer defined Frick’s exceptional taste and established him as a major collector. Some of these pieces such as Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait (1906) and Vermeer’s The Officer and Laughing Girl (1911) are among the highlights of Frick’s collection present day.

The Frick home was no cheap investment, and the details of the interior overwhelmingly prove it. Many individuals in New York find their way to The Frick Collection to experience the lavish personal collection left behind by Henry Clay Frick. The Roger New York on Twitter suggests to visit the “tranquil environment” where “masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and more!” are housed. If you were to visit this collection, we would suggest looking at the home as an object the same way you’d look at the art as an object. If the home were stripped of the precious art collection, it itself could stand alone as a testament to Henry Clay Frick’s indulgence in his affluent taste and desires. The house, on its own, is an awe-inspiring construction, clearly announcing Frick’s wealth and status.


Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 2.58.18 PM

The Frick House (Bailey)


Ultimately, the home is what provides accommodation for this extraordinary collection of art; it is only fitting that it matches the nature of the pieces, contributing to the fabulous and ornate qualities of the paintings, sculptures, furniture, and other fascinating objects.

Daniel Weber’s 1653 table clock stands in the South Hall as a pretentious tour de force. Made to display his skill, rather than for functionality, it features an array of dials containing information ranging from the location of the stars at one’s local latitude on to the present astrological sign, to the time, month and day (Berman). Gilded in fine brass and ornamented with flowers and angels clad in silver, it dominates its surroundings, as triumphant as the woman at its apex, a monument to man’s mastery over the material world.

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 2.59.48 PM

Weber’s Table Clock (“Table Clock with Astronomical and Calendrical Dials.”)

Refurbished by the Frick collection in 2013 for an exhibition on clocks, Weber’s masterpiece has since remained as a permanent part of the collection on display.

The painting of Lady Selina Skipwith was done in May of 1787 by Sir Joshua Reynolds, an English painter who specialized in portraits and promoted the “Grand Style,” an approach that idealized the imperfect. The depiction of the woman in Reynolds’ painting contains obvious signifiers of wealth—the puffy tulle dress, the satin gloves, the powdered hair, the white face makeup. In late 18th century England, paleness was a sign that one lived in prosperity and idleness, and did not have to labor in the sun. However, the face makeup used during this time usually contained lead; many women applied it regardless, some suffering illness or even death from lead poisoning. The painting itself, and the sacrifices made by the woman in it to attain a certain beauty ideal, demonstrate a common thread of extravagance and refinement, which connects all of the art and objects in the Frick Collection.

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 3.00.43 PM.png

Selina, Lady Skipwith


The overarching theme of the Frick collection is its extravagance. The pieces on display reminisce on a long history of vanity, amalgamating fine art, architecture, and craftsmanship from throughout the centuries. The objects selected for this presentation exemplify this opulence, each a window into the pursuit of material excess.




“Acquisitions Fund.” The Dutch Golden Age | The Frick Collection,

Andrewes, William J. H. “A Chronicle of Timekeeping.” Scientific American Special Edition, vol. 16, no. 1, Feb2006 Special Edition 2006, pp. 46–55. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0206-46sp.

“Annual Fund.” The Dutch Golden Age | The Frick Collection,

Bailey, Colin B. Building the Frick Collection: an Introduction to the House and Its Collections. The Frick Collection, 2016.

Berman, Ann E. “The Gallery: Beautiful Relics of Timekeeping’s Past — an Eccentric Collector’s Clocks Reveal an Age when Art and Precision Conjoined.” Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition ed., Jan 02 2002, p. A15. ProQuest. Web. 4 Mar. 2019 .

Collection, The Frick. “David Weber, Gilt-Brass and Silver Table Clock.” YouTube, Frick Collection, 04 Jan. 2014,

Collection, The Frick. YouTube, YouTube, 3 Aug. 2010,

Engel, Laura. Fashioning Celebrity: Eighteenth-Century British Actresses and Strategies for Image Making. Ohio State Univ Press, 2011.

“Garden Court.” Garden Court | The Frick Collection,

Gunzburg, Darrelyn. “Collecting a Vision: Henry Clay Frick and the Frick Collection, New York.” Art Book, vol. 16, no. 3, Aug. 2009, pp. 19–21. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1467-8357.2009.01041.x.

Hipple, Walter J. “General and Particular in the Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Study in Method.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 11, no. 3, 1953, pp. 231–247. JSTOR, doi: 10.2307/426762.

Miller, Daniel. Stuff. Polity Press, 2010.

Reynolds, Joshua. A Selection from the Discourses Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy. Edited by J. J. Findlay, Blackie, 1906.

Reynolds, Joshua. “Selina, Lady Skipwith.” – Works –, The Frick Collection,

Roark, Elisabeth. “Pittsburgh.” Grove Art Online.  May 28, 2015. Oxford University Press,. Date of access 11 Mar. 2019,

“Roman Domestic Architecture (Domus).” Khan Academy, Khan Academy,

Scherer, Barrymore L. “Horology: What’s Ticking at the Frick.” Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition ed., Aug 28 2013, ProQuest. Web. 4 Mar. 2019 .

Siple, Ella S. “The Opening of the Frick Collection.” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, vol. 68, no. 395, 1936, pp. 102–103. JSTOR,

The Frick Collection: An Illustrated Catalogue. Vol. 1, The Frick Collection, 1968.

“The Garden Court.” The Garden Court | The Frick Collection,

@therogerny. “Step out of the cold and into the tranquil environment of the @frickcollection. You’ll be able to discover masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and more!” Twitter 06 March 2019, 1:15 p.m.,

Weber, David. “Table Clock with Astronomical and Calendrical Dials.” – Works –, 2018,


A China cabinet grows in Connecticut

If you needed a postcard to send from New England, you could take a photograph just about anywhere in Newtown, Connecticut. It would be perfectly picturesque, completely conveying the feeling of its state and New England. My grandparents Charlie and Elsie Clark, built their home there. It is where they remained until my grandfather died. My grandmother stayed in the house until her health began to fail. Then it was time to let the house go.

What came before the house construction was the purchase and the clearing of their property, which was carved out of a stony ridge that led into a forest. The trees needed cutting before a foundation for their log cabin was poured. From the felled timber, nothing was wasted. It was utilized to make the house, its flooring, walls of knotty pine, cabinetry, and furniture. My grandfather was a garage owner and mechanic, but with typical can-do spirit, he was also an amazing woodworker. Everything that he could do himself, he did.

I am the proud inheritor of two pieces of furniture my grandfather made from his land’s lumber. One is a cabinet that my grandmother used for her fabrics for sewing. The other is a lovely, little china cabinet, a vitrine really, since so much of it is composed of glass.  I don’t know what drew me to this piece specifically. It certainly isn’t anything out of the ordinary. Its carpentry is simple in nature, its drawer pulls basic. I remember it always being in the same corner of my grandparent’s dining room. I know my grandfather made it from trees that once surrounded the area he called home; maybe this is why I am so attached to it.

the China cabinet

My grandmother was an obsessive tchotchke collector, bordering on hoarding. The cabinet was filled to capacity with teacup and saucer sets, petite porcelain figurines, single bud flower vases, crystal animals, and other things that I can’t quite recall any longer. Since my living quarters had never been in grandiose spaces, the cabinet could fit anywhere, taking little floor area.

Since coming out of my grandmother’s home, it has been in six residences. As stated in previous blogs, I have been happily downsizing. Last fall, some serious purging of the cabinet took place. Now it displays items that I truly love, such as champagne flutes that were a wedding gift from my late mother-in-law and a demitasse set from my Oma.

One thing that has changed over time is the smell emanating from the cabinet when the door opens. My grandparent’s home was always heated with a wood stove. When something needed to come out of the cabinet, the singular odor of warm, burned wood would come wafting from its interior. Unfortunately, that fragrance has dissipated over time, but has left a vivid, lingering memory.  

So from Connecticut pine tree, to cherished keepsake in New York, I find so much joy in this china cabinet. It is one of the few items from a family member that I can track its entire history. Hopefully one of my children will want to choose this cabinet for their own, continuing its journey within the family. One can only wonder where it may end up down the road.

Course Blog #5: Vincero Watch

Throughout the duration of this course, one characteristic of myself that I have continually stressed is my desire to live a minimalistic lifestyle. In spite of this, I feel as if it is imperative to reiterate that the objects I do like to surround myself with tend to exhibit a strong sense of value either through monetary or symbolic means. Similar to my previous article on my Ray-Ban Sunglasses, another “luxurious” object I have recently acquired a few months ago is a watch from Vincero. Although this object is new and recently purchased, I felt that this would be excellent opportunity to discuss its unique physical attributes and history. Consequently, this week’s blog post will be centered around my newly obtained Vincero watch as explore to why I feel this object complements my minimalistic lifestyle.

A close up of my Vincero watch.
My Vincero watch laid across my desk.

For starters, I want to give to detailed description of what makes up my Vincero watch. In terms of physical dimensions, the face of the watch has a diameter of 42mm, a thickness of 10mm (top of glass to bottom caseback), and the length of the entire watch is about 24.5mm. Moreover, according to specifications on Vincero’s website, the face of the watch is made out of silver 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a very nice blue sunray on the dial of the object. In addition, the strap of the watch was assembled with high quality Italian brown leather and the glass that covers the mechanical parts of the watch was made from a sapphire coated crystal, a scratch resistant material. Also, the Vincero logo is printed in the center of the watch and on the back is the company’s moto “Veni, Vidi, Vici” which is Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered” surrounds a piece of Italian marble that is placed within each Vincero watch.

The backside of my Vincero watch.

The case for my watch is also worthy of attention due the high-quality materials that make up its physical dimensions. The case is composed of a hard and durable cardboard like material with a sleek black matte finish. In addition, the name of the company and its unique logo are also printed in the center of the cover. Inside, there is a black, soft felt like material that composes the inner surface area of the case with “Live Your Legacy”, one of the company’s mottos, printed in golden color on the top portion of the case.

The inside of my case along side my Vincero watch.

To digress slightly, I received this watch as Christmas present this winter from my parents. I don’t usually ask for much when it comes to gifts, but they insisted that I choose something. As a result, I ended up doing research on different watch companies and when I came across Vincero watches, I’m not surprised why this particular object stood out to me. In comparison to other watches, this particular model was very minimalistic in design in terms of physical appearance. Unlike most other watches, the design of this model didn’t have any claustrophobic numbers or symbols on its face; instead, it was sleek and minimal, two characteristics that really resonated with me.

The top side of my case with the Vincero logo.

After owning this watch for the past three months, I feel as if I’m ready to explore some of the history of this object and how it was produced. When I conducted research, I discovered that all of Vincero’s watches are made inhouse with supplies gathered all across the world through their global value chain. According to the company, all of the designing and assembly is done by themselves and is never outsourced in order to preserve quality in their product. Furthermore, I had discovered that all of the watch movement mechanisms come from Japan, the leather and marble come from Italy, and the stainless steel and sapphire glass comes China. Moreover, Vincero is based in San Diego, California so it can be assumed that this is where these watches are actually assembled and shipped from.

Even after owning this watch for over this short period of time, it still amazes me that this company was able to craft a product at such a fair price while also being very high in quality. With such a strong attention to detail, a pragmatic and fashionable purpose, and a rich history in terms how this object was produced from parts from across globe, it is no surprise to why this watch remains one of my favorite personal objects. In my opinion, I feel as if this watch truly conveys the ideals of a minimalist mindset, and as I continue to wear this object, I will be able to fully appreciate the skilled craftsmanship that went into its creation.

Canon 80D

A few months ago I made the decision to upgrade my DSLR. I had previously used a Canon t3i which I bought in 2013. Though this was a great beginner camera for me, I started taking more advanced photo and video classes and wanted to have more control as well as more advanced video capabilities. I had already researched many Canon cameras for the last year or so and I basically knew which one best fit my needs- and was closest to my price range. This was the Canon 80D, a 2016 model but the newest and most advanced of its series. It is still not considered a professional grade camera, but rather an “enthusiast-level” DSLR, with 24.2 megapixels and ISO capabilities from 100 to 16,000.

The specific camera I bought was from Best Buy and was part of a package deal from Canon which included the camera body, an 18-135mm lens, a battery, charger, and a generic strap. This package does not include a memory card, which is necessary to use the camera. In this post, I will primarily focus on the camera body. It measures 5.47 inches wide, 4.14 inches in height, and 3.09 inches in depth. The body weighs 1.43 pounds–which I will admit is one of the negatives about the model, especially with the lens attached. It is a significant increase from my last model and leads to quicker arm and hand fatigue, especially in more difficult shots or angles. The body is made out of plastic, metal, glass, and rubber.

Canon was founded in 1937 in Tokyo, Japan. Canon currently leads as top camera manufacturer, and most of these cameras are made at the manufacturing facility located in Oita, Japan.When researching where and how my camera was made, I struggled to find specific information. The Canon website, both USA and international, has a lot of information on their corporate mission statements, environmental social policies, and how their products cater to a multitude of lifestyles and industries–but very little information of their own factories and workers. On the global website, Canon describes its manufacturing as a “globally optimized production system in which we determine ideal production locations based on such factors as costs, taxes, logistics and labor.” They also speak about the importance of building employee skill sets. While I was initially a little suspicious of their lack of transparency in their specific operations, I was able to find PDF downloads available on their website which described their extensive policies and records on labor, sustainability, and other responsibilities. Though I still cannot find information on the exact process of manufacturing one camera, I do respect their environmental efforts and commitment to their customers with each product developed. Many other large corporations use their power and resources to get around certain ethical practices such as labor environmental standards, let alone prioritize and have pride in them.

While this research exercise did not give me all of the answers I was looking for, it made me more cautious and aware of where my products come from and the morality of each purchase, as well as all of the work and research that goes into each Canon camera as well.


My Underappreciated Water Bottle

This week I’ve decided to focus on an object that I really don’t give enough credit to for its role in my daily life: my water bottle.

I’ve carried a reusable water bottle with me everyday probably since middle school. Subsequently, I’ve gone through quite a few of them over the years. I learned early on that I need a sturdy, heavy duty water bottle (to compensate for how often I drop literally anything I’m holding, ever) and one that holds at least 20 fluid ounces (as to avoid constant refills). I’ve had a couple bottles, mainly throughout college, that fulfilled this criteria; unfortunately, I also lose everything in addition to dropping everything–so none of these water bottles lasted me more than 6 months or so. This water bottle, however, is the exception.

I purchased the bottle from the campus Starbucks last May (hence the very noticable, block lettered logo at the bottom of the bottle).

I was looking to spend the last of my dining dollars before leaving for the summer, and as the $30 dollar bottle wasn’t something I would normally spend “real” money on, it was a nice treat. Having used the bottle for quite some time now, I have to admit that $30 was a very reasonable price for this item. The bottle is relatively thin, holds 20 fluid ounces and fits perfectly into the side pocket of my back pack. The exterior, which was coated with a matte black finish when I first purchased it, has since sustained a handful of dents and scratches from–you guessed it–me dropping the bottle.


Yet unlike other water bottles I’ve had in the past, which were generally manufactured from plastic, this one remains fully functional despite its bruises thanks to its (what I assume to be) aluminum interior. This renders the bottle exceptionally “tough” and nearly unbreakable; moreover, the metal effectively keeps cool liquids cool and warm liquids warm. A rubber ring is attached to the neck of the bottle, allowing one to easily pick it up.

Perhaps the only aspect of this object I don’t like is its lid. The circular metal top is not attached to the bottle but rather twists on; often times I don’t screw the lid on tight enough when I’m in a rush and thus fall victim to a leaky water bottle.

In the past I’ve covered my water bottles with stickers, so it was always a disappointment when I lost the bottle or it broke. In hopes of not wasting any other fun stickers (which could better serve other items, like my guitar case), I decided to personalize this bottle with a single sticker. I’ve been interning with the Democracy Matters Institute for over a year now and serve as the president of our campus chapter, so seeing this sticker on my water bottle every day is a nice reminder of the things I am passionate about. It’s also served as a conversation starter quite a few times, which, come to think of it, is an interesting example of how our objects blend into our every day lives.

The sticker’s still in pretty good shape, surpisingly.

The Impact of our Clothes

I usually pride myself on being an avid thrift shop shopper, but sometimes, I cave into my consumeristic culture that promotes shiny new clothes and the promise of possibilities—a.k.a around almost every winter break I go to the mall and “treat” myself to a shopping spree. One store that I frequent, and am a bit ashamed to admit, is Forever 21. I used to shop there when I was in middle and early high school (before I discovered the wonderful world of thrift shops). But, the clothes are cute and cheap—although they’re cheap for a reason, which is where a lot of my consumer guilt sinks in.

This past winter I engaged in my now ritualistic trip to my local mall and paid a pretty penny at Forever 21. For this blog, I decided to analyze three of the sweaters I purchased there. For starters, each shirt was made in a different country: Cambodia, China, and Vietnam—all of which are a significant distance away from the Galleria Mall in Middletown, N.Y. But, even before it got to my mall, it had to go to a warehouse, or multiple warehouses. And before that it had to be flown from these countries to America. The raw ingredients to make the shirt also had to be cultivated and shipped to where they were manufactured. Each of the sweaters is made out of four materials, and usually a combination of two or three—rayon, polyester, spandex, or nylon.  A quick Google search led me into a whole other scientific world of how these materials are made—who knew there was so much science behind the clothes we wear.

Polyester, spandex, and nylon are all made out of plastic (which is a derivation of oil), and rayon is made from purified cellulose from plants. Before these clothes can be sewn together, the materials need to be made, which requires certain chemical reactions. The sweaters also had colors like cream, red, blue, gold, and one was strictly dark blue made out of a fuzzy nylon material. The dyes as well are made from synthetic sources, which rely on coal and petroleum to be made. The added impact and problem with clothes that are made out of synthetic fibers, like plastic, is the way they are disposed of. Often times, particles of these clothes get rubbed off and make it into our oceans in the form of micro-plastics. These items are cheap because they’re made from synthetic fibers and dyes that are harsh on our environment and because they have poor labor conditions. They received a score of a D+ from the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report, which looked at criteria involving payment of a living wage, transparency, and worker empowerment initiatives.

These clothes are shipped to all parts of the world as they are a global company that has stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines—that’s a lot of plane fuel. We also need to factor in the transportation that I used to get to the mall to buy those clothes. My house is about 18 miles from the mall—that’s 36 miles in total that I drove to go shopping.

All of this is just so I can treat myself to “new” clothes. I didn’t realize the extent to which clothes are derived from plastics. When buying an item, such as a sweater, we don’t usually think about everything that truly goes into that product before we take it from the hanger. However, I believe it’s really important to be an informed consumer about the impact our actions (and our clothes) are having on the environment, and the kinds of companies that we support. This analyzation of just three new pieces of clothing that I bought motivates me even more to buy secondhand—where I can walk to the Salvation Army in New Paltz and buy something that was already made.


It was summer, I just received my first paycheck of my new position as a summer teacher at a private preschool in Manhattan. Having a comma in my paycheck was not something I was used to so, my first instinct was to celebrate! I knew exactly what my first purchase would be, the second that paycheck landed in my exhausted hands from the 60 hour work weeks.  Although this object has become an internet meme, to me has been one of my most useful purchases. During the work week I saw countless numbers of wire free airpod users being able to effortlessly listen to music on their commutes. I wanted to join this unfashionable trend and be part of these users. This product was widely mocked for its slightly abnormal look of two q-tips stuck into your ears. But no, I did not buy q-tips to stick out of my ears but, a brand new pearly white pair of airpods fresh from the apple store right on 5th avenue walking home from another exhausting yet rewarding day.

AirPods and their convienent carrying/charger case

I think we all know that these apple products were not made right on 5th avenue. They are “designed in California” however are not made there. Generally their sleek “high class” are products are made all over various countries. Mongolia, China, Korea and Taiwan are their main producers. There are a lot of controversial debates about those who manufacture apple products not getting paid adequately. Apple does claim they are (shocker) and that they are providing thousands of jobs both here and internationally. These headphones were designed in california, then created abroad, shipped back here and sent out to be sold all over. They have probably traveled the world more than I have before hitting the shelves. After reading this information my brand new product feels less important and more mass produced. Apple has a way to advertise their products and make them extremely desirable no matter the cost. However, I believe this was worth the purchase for this palm sized technology filled pair of headphones.

The first time I nervously put these small and sleek objects in my ears I thought they would never last due to their size. Following their previous iconic Apple headphone look, they are smooth and pearly yet without the always tangled wires dangling from the earpieces.  This is a new form of technology and by far one of my favorites mainly because of their convenience. These tiny headphones and their palm sized plastic case have become a part of my everyday look. From their 24 hour battery life to the access to siri without even touching your phone, these are just some of the many surprising features of such a small yet technologically advanced product. Its slick features make it seem very futuristic. The pure white smoothness make me clean them with every drop of dirt. With a case designed to store them, it is difficult to lose and convenient to carry. The small  case rarely needs a charge making it a permanent object in my coat pocket. I never have to go without headphones

The Internet is not the biggest fan

Denounced for being over priced however, has been one of my best investments. I can definitely say in the few months I have owned them they have gotten more use than any other pair I have owned before. No more getting tangled up in so many of my daily activities. Lifting at the gym I can finally place my phone down and don’t have to detangle myself in wires and pocketless leggings to find a place to store my phone. Walking around and being able to not have wires getting caught in my jacket or pulled everytime I turn. Music is a very important part of my life and these headphones have given me access to this in any situation. Overall, they are great product even at the cost.