Reflecting the History of Industry & Technology
The South Carolina State Museum's Science and Technology contains a diverse group of 3,500 objects. Areas of collecting include: communication equipment (computers, TVs, telephones, radios, etc.), farm implements, objects related to South Carolina industries (textile manufacturing, mining, forestry, etc.), medical instruments, astronomical instruments, and objects related to aerospace and South Carolina astronauts.
The collection features a large variety of objects, including: ancient meteorites, tools, cars, farm equipment, vintage televisions and radios, kitchen appliances, airplanes, robots and more. The earliest object in the collection is a c. 1740 Passemant reflecting telescope and one of the most recent is a 2020 Abi robot.
The museum is also home to The Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy, an amazing collection of historic telescopes and astronomical equipment. Many of the instruments are currently on display in the museum’s fourth floor telescope gallery.
I’m Meredith Nichter I’m the Science and Technology Curator at the South Carolina State Museum. So right now the Apollo 16 and Beyond exhibit is being installed, so in the meantime all of the objects from the exhibit are here to be kept safe while all that construction is going on. One of those objects is this cuff checklist. So during the Apollo 16 mission Charlie Duke used this checklist which would attach to a copper cuff like this and it would detail each step of procedures that the astronauts had to do while they performed EVAs or extravehicular activities, anytime they did anything out of the lunar module. Some of those procedures were off loading the lunar roving vehicle, instructions on how to use a drill to collect lunar samples. So when they put their spacesuits on it was a lot of complicated bulky equipment so they couldn't just easily take it off to go back to the lunar module and check on something so this came in handy, no pun intended, it came in handy for them to remember all of the specific tasks they needed to perform. While the astronauts were in the lunar module and the command module they had pounds and pounds of paper that they would refer to for all the complicated procedures they had to perform. This checklist was just for their reference when they were outside of the lunar module. If you're interested in seeing these artifacts and more the new exhibit Apollo 16 and Beyond South Carolina in space opens on April 9th for more information head to scmuseum.org