1998: The Society Opens “Distinctively Delaware”

Distinctively Delaware exhibit
“Distinctively Delaware” at the Delaware History Museum

More work to further improve the Delaware History Museum continued as the Society worked towards completing a new permanent exhibit devoted exclusively to Delaware history. The proposed exhibit, six years in the making and to be entitled, “Distinctively Delaware,” was intended to provide “a world-class exhibition that will engage all the senses for a true learning experience.” The Society cast a wide net with its content research and engaged Museum Design of Cambridge, Massachusetts to design and build the new exhibit, which would draw from the Society’s own rich collections, but also integrate state-of-the-art audio-visual and built-in components. In the process, the Society also managed to acquire some exciting new items, such as early test garments made from Dupont experimental fabrics like orlon, gor-tex, and nylon, to bring the exhibit right into the twentieth century.

“Distinctively Delaware” officially opened on December 8th with a members-only preview celebration that welcomed more than 900 guests, who enjoyed the exhibits and interactive learning games based on Delaware history such as “Test Your Del-Awareness,” “You Be the Judge,” and “Chicken Challenge.” A second grand opening celebration was held for the public later that month and each child in attendance received a “Delaware First” blue ribbon button as a souvenir.


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