Cranford History

Tools of the Times

“Man is a tool-using animal.
Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”     
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

The study of local history often centers around the development of tools and technology.   In Information Science, the study of Technology and its impact on people is called Social Informatics.

Tools:      Yours, Mine, Ours

Tools Connect various time periods and help us understand the context in which people lived out their lives.   Often Oral histories capture people reflecting on earlier times with different technology constraints than those experienced at a later period.

The Cranford Historical Society has a wonderful collection of Historical Tools and they are working to create better ways to display them.  If you are interested in supporting those efforts, contact the Historical Society.

Learning to Live – Children use Toy Tools to learn about work and develop skills

Cranford Inventors

Cranford resident, Curtis Grubb Culin III, 1937 graduate of Cranford High School joined the during World War II invented something special, the rhino tank, and this invention is celebrated as one of the most important contributions to the military technology of the time.

Memorial to Culin at Cranford Township Building

Ask Questions to Learn More

Aspects of Tools can provide research and study opportunities – start with asking some questions about the tools you see:

  • What is the Story of the Tool? Who first thought of it?
  • Tools – Dimensions – Why so big? Why so small?
  • Who made this tool?
  • Who owned this tool?
  • Was this tool repaired? What tools fix other tools?
  • Why did someone save this tool?
  • Can I try to use this tool?
  • The tools they carried – What tools did your immigrant ancestors carry with them to their new life?

Tool Organizations can provide rich sources of reference material; here are a few to explore:

Tool Types

Consider the vast range of  tools used in Industry, the professionals and in everyday life:

  • Cooking

What’s THAT?!

  • Artist Tools
  • Audio Visual Tools

    !960’s Movie Projector and Slide Projector

  • Sewing – Darning Eggs
  • Spinning and weaving
  • Quilting
  • Fishing
  • Medical Tools
  • Dental Tools
  • Gardening Tools
  • Woodworking
  • Metal Working
  • Farming
  • Animal Husbandry

Tools and Tool Storage – Follow a journey across time

  • Medical and Dental Instruments > Cabinets
  • Reading Tools – Book > Bookshelf> Eyeglasses>Candles>Lamps

The Display of Tools

Tool Display Concepts


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