Thursday, March 24, 2011

JCHC In The Works: Informational Sign Design

I've been working hard lately, spending most of my time in Photoshop working on graphics for some future signage.  Here are the results:

Click To Enlarge Image

This is still very early in the design process, but I'm pleased at where this is going.  What do you think?


Friday, March 18, 2011

JCHC In The Works: Walking Tour Signage

What a nice day out today!

Here at the JCHC, we have just begun work on our smart phone walking tour for Brookville's Main Street.  We are working on gathering pictures and information about all the great historic landmarks in town.

After some talking, we also see this time as a great way to develop some permanent signage to place around town.  What we are thinking of would be 10 signs that have graphics and text about the most interesting places and events from Brookville's past.  The signs would provide people with a lot more information and larger images than they would receive on the smart phone tour.

This idea is still just in the very beginning stages, but I did take some time to throw together a sample graphic to get an idea of what the basic designs of these signs might look like.

I hope you enjoy:


Thursday, March 17, 2011

JCHC First Look: New Website Feature

Hello everybody,

It's been busy here at the JCHC.  We have a bunch of new projects in the foreground right now that are really starting to take over.

First of all, we are beginning work on an app for smart phones that will act as a digital tour guide for Brookville's historic Main Street.  The project is still in the very early stages, but we are definitely excited to dig into this one.

Another new item that we are working on is setting up a digital database for our patrons to search for names through our archives of newspaper articles.  This feature will allow users to find out basic information about the person that they are searching for and see what newspaper clippings we have on file related to them.

I just recently designed two buttons for the website for our users to find this new feature.  They won't be installed onto the site until it's fully functional, but here is a preview of the buttons right now:


Friday, March 4, 2011

JCHC Fun Fact: Charles Bowdish

Hello everybody!

Tomorrow marks the opening of our new Civil War exhibit, Drumbeat to War.  It also happens to be the date of our annual Charlie Bowdish Birthday Celebration.  I thought I'd share a little local history with a brief story about Bowdish.

A Brief History of Charles Bowdish...

Charles Bowdish (1896-1988), famous for his miniature railroad displays, called Brookville his hometown.  After being released from service in World War I due to exposure to mustard gas, Bowdish began building models of real buildings in Brookville while he recovered.  Every Christmas, he would assemble his models into a display that featured Lionel trains running throughout.  

On Christmas Eve, 1920, Charles played host to his brother's wedding and reception.  Guests were entertained by his miniature railroad display.  One guest enjoyed it so much that he asked if he could invite friends over to see the display.  Word quickly spread and close to 600 people showed up to see Bowdish's work.

Every Christmas season to follow, Charles began constructing his display with a new theme (White Christmas, Indian Summer, etc.).  The railroad grew so big that it took up the entire second floor of his house.  Thousands of guests would come annually to see his creation, and Bowdish never charged a fee to view his work.

Flooding that would nearly destroy his models and an insurance company that would not cover the amount of people coming to view the displays forced Bowdish to look for a new home for his railroad.  Eventually, Charles chose the Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh to house his work in 1954.

In 1987, Buhl officially became part of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.  Joining with Carnegie allowed Buhl to expand, and in 1991, under a new name, the Carnegie Science Center was opened.  This new building allowed enough room for Bowdish's railroad to be displayed year-round.

Today, Bowdish's Miniature Railroad and Village display can be viewed at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh from Thanksgiving through mid-September.  The railroad goes into a two-month shut down period for maintenance, cleaning, and the construction of new features on the railroad.

To view some old photographs of Bowdish's creation, follow this link.