Driving Delaware

The cataloging team is pleased to announce the completion of our first exhibit!! Driving Delaware takes us on a road trip through the state using some of the most interesting items we’ve encountered over the last 18 months of the project. A hypothetical road trip, we thought, would be a fun way to explore the history of some of the most traveled places throughout the state, as well as a few off the beaten path. The exhibit includes visits to 16 cities and highlights the art, music, natural landscapes, cultural festivals, and historic sites that make Delaware a “must see” on the list of any respectable road tripper.

After deciding on a theme, the trick was to figure out how much we could fit in the 52 square inch cases… I must say, there is a lot of stuff in there!

Intro exhibit case

A couple of things we couldn’t leave out: First, a brief history of roads. Really, there were virtually no paved roads in Delaware at the dawn of the 20th century! Enter engineer and philanthropist T. Coleman du Pont. Du Pont saw the need to better connect the northern and southern communities. Construction of Route 13 began in 1908 and was completed in 1928.

Secondly, we had to pay homage to Delaware’s coolest gal on the road, Helen Jones. In July 1920, she packed up her “little old Ford” for a six week road trip to the west coast. I don’t want to give anything away, but Helen had some pretty awesome adventures along the way which she detailed in a scrapbook that now resides here at DHS.

Helen Jones

On a final note, we have a new cataloger, Jennifer Matthews. Jennifer bravely stepped in and helped install this exhibit. This was a great experience for all of us involved, and more importantly, it allows us to bring you even more of the excellent collections that DHS has to offer. Driving Delaware: A Road Trip through our Collections is open now through the end of summer 2012. Stop by and get some ideas for your own summer vacation!

A picture from our own road trip to Dover Downs in Kent County


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