Test your Ohio Memory!

Test taking. Courtesy of Pontifical College Josephinum

Here at Ohio Memory, we are always working on new ways for users to interact with the digital materials from our collections. So today we’re excited to let you know about the new “Learning Resources” we now have available! Those of you who have been following the Ohio Memory Project from the beginning may remember similar quizzes and essays from our former website, but the activities have been revamped to highlight newer materials in the collections and to encourage visitor engagement through a more interactive format.

Hmm…what could it “bee?” Courtesy of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

On our new “Learning Resources” page, you can test your knowledge of Ohio people, Ohio places and Ohio things, as well as of general Ohio facts and history with the Ohio Memory Challenge. There are also over 20 subject category essays about Ohio topics to explore, with links to related materials in the digital collections. Personally, I’m fascinated by the What Is It? Quiz, which tests your skills at identifying unusual or early forms of more familiar objects, as well as unique specimens and historical artifacts. For example, take a look at the object on the right. Recognize it?

It’s hard to tell at first glance–could it be an ice cream maker? Or a flour sifter? If you take a closer look, you can see that the label reads “Root Quality–The A.I. Root Company.” Maybe it would help to know that Amos Ives Root, of Medina, Ohio, started that company because of an interest in beekeeping. In 1869, he began manufacturing a beehive from which beekeepers could extract the honey without killing the bees. Within a decade, he had purchased the Medina County Fairgrounds and built the A.I. Root Company, which is still around today as Root Candles of Medina, Ohio. This particular object is actually another of his honey extractors, used to remove honey from the comb. These extractors were made in a range of sizes, from smaller ones (like this one) for home use to large production versions six feet or more in diameter! Harvested combs of honey were placed in holders within the extractor, which would then spin very fast, forcing the honey out of the comb to the sides, where it ran down a collection spout as pure, wax-free honey.

Field of A.I. Root Co. beehives

While the Root Company began making their famous beeswax candles in the 1920s, there was also a time when Amos’s “Airline honey,” made with extractors like these, was considered the best on the market. This Ohioan also wrote the book “The A B C of Bee Culture,” and founded the magazine “Gleanings in Bee Culture” for his fellow apiculturists, or beekeepers. Both of these resources are available at the Ohio History Center.

We hope that you’ll take a look at the new learning resources we have available, and go deeper into the fascinating history that is behind each of the objects, people and places highlighted in the quizzes. Ohio Memory and the Ohio History Center are both great places to start!

Thanks to Lily Birkhimer, Digital Projects Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, for this week’s post!

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