A MUSEUM FOR ALL AGES: Adult Programs at METC

All programs are conducted by a museum educator. These programs can be presented at your facility or at the Museum in the beautiful James Library Building, completed in 1900. Most programs can also be presented virtually. Programs are $100 plus travel costs if presented at your location.

ABCs of Candy

This program explores the history of a variety of different candies, including some that have been around for well over 100 years and some that are quite new. The program is conducted alphabetically, discussing a different “sweet” for each letter of the alphabet, but addresses broader themes, including when and why consumption of candy in the United States increased.

Back to School 

Explore 19th century schooling and the major changes that occurred in the world of education during this time. Reproduction books and other materials will help tell the story of what it was like to attend school 200 years ago and the program will look at the differences, and similarities, between school in the 19th -20th centuries and today.

Baseball in 9 Innings

Learn fun facts about the interesting and varied background and history of America’s game, from its inception to strange superstitions, to the “seventh inning stretch.” Participants are encouraged to recall and talk about their baseball memories.

Decoding the Past

Join a museum educator in exploring how everyday items offer an insider’s glimpse of what life was like 200 years ago. Participants will learn about 19th century life as we examine, discuss, and “decode” artifacts – ranging from shoe making tools to a candle mold –  from the teaching collection of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts.

The Dog Days of Summer

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the crazy words and phrases we use? From “breaking the ice” to “a wild goose chase,” these seemingly illogical expressions fill our everyday language without a second thought. This program explores the strange and varied origins of a range of English language idioms and sayings.

Garden State: Living Off the Land in 19th Century New Jersey

Explore the agricultural history of New Jersey and its profound influence on farming today. This program will use the museum’s extensive collection of farming-related tools to bring to life this key aspect of New Jersey’s history. It also looks at what it was like to live and work on a 19th-century New Jersey farm.

Hail to the Chief

This program will cover all the presidents of the United States, discussing basic facts as well as little-known trivia.

Here Comes the Bride

This program explores a variety of wedding customs. Traditions like white dresses, tiered cakes, rings and toasts are expected by modern wedding attendees and diligently followed by most modern couples. However, some of these traditions have surprising and sometimes ancient origins. Participants are encouraged to share their own wedding stories and memories.

History of Christmas Carols

Trace the evolution of Christmas Carols from pagan solstice songs to the wide range of carols played and performed around the wintertime holidays today. Participants are encouraged to sing along while exploring the specific histories of a number of popular carols.

Narrative Threads: New Jersey Quilts & Textiles

For centuries, people in New Jersey have been producing a stunning variety of textiles. Discover some historic pieces from METC’s collection including quilts, woven textiles, and lace pieces. Participants will handle and explore some of the complex materials and tools involved in making textiles.

Remember the Ladies 

This program will touch on all the first ladies of the United States, from Martha Washington to Melania Trump. Not all first ladies were the wife of the president and each dealt in her own way with the inherent tension between the public nature of the role and the discomfort of society with women in public positions. Many of these varied and often overlooked women made valuable contributions and helped shape the presidency of their husband, brother or father.

Shipwrecked!

Prior to the development of train, car and air travel, water travel was a crucial means of transporting goods and people, and continues to have an important role in leisure, travel and defense. This program traces the development of maritime technology, usage and safety measures through examination of some of the shipwrecks that are part of life for a coastal state like NJ.

Stories of Travel by Stagecoach & Horse

This program looks at various aspects related to horse-powered travel, including primary source document accounts of what it was like to travel by stagecoach. It will also explore the wide range of horse-powered vehicles that were on the road in the 19th century and what it meant to have a horse as your “engine.”

Sweet Treats: Desserts & Delicacies from the Garden State

This program explores a variety of “sweet” culinary traditions from the 18th and 19th centuries and considers how the treats we enjoy have changed. It will also discuss the process and ingredients of making these food items, then and now.

Through a Glass Brightly

Get the insider view of the 56 stained glass windows at the Museum, many adorned with quotes from the arts, sciences, and humanities. Participants will observe and discuss the beautiful details of the window designs and learn about the quotes and writers depicted in the windows.

Tooling Through Art

Many masterpieces of world art contain depictions of hand tools and everyday household artifacts. This program explores images of a number of famous artworks, focusing in on tools and objects that seem strange to us, but which were common and ubiquitous when the artworks were completed. Pictures of objects from the Museum’s collection are juxtaposed with the art images to show the similarities. Background on the artists, the art and the artifacts is included.

Triskaidekaphobia

Perfect for Halloween time or Friday the 13th, this program discusses many of our common superstitions and the origins of these strange beliefs.

What’s Cooking?

Learn about 19th century cooking techniques through hands-on examination of cooking utensils and food-related artifacts from METC’s teaching collection. Participants are encouraged to reminisce about favorite recipes, and to share food and cooking memories.

What’s In a Name?

This program focuses on surnames derived from occupations, a common origin of last names. Discussion of each occupation is accompanied by pictures of related objects from METC’s collection and participants will have the opportunity to handle a number of objects from the museum’s teaching collection.

For more information or to schedule a program, please contact the Education Department at 973-377-2982 ext. 12 or email education@metc.org