Technological advancement seems like an everyday thing. All of our smartphones have cameras, all we have to wonder is how good of a camera it is. Not long ago we were arguing whether digital media was going to replace printed media. A long time a go, people were glad to replace hand written books with the very first printed ones. We are very lucky to have one of those early prints downtown. Not so long ago we were exploring how to take pictures using just one dark cube. One of the first photographs is also in Austin. The Gutenberg Bible is the crown jewel of the Harry Ransom Center.
Gutenberg created molds that went through a press which created the Gutenberg bible. All of the letters had to be created from scratch and then put together to create those molds. The very fist letter designs, now called fonts, were supposed to look like written letters. They have evolved to be more sleek and easier to read in small screens. Everyone should take a look at this more than 500 year old book.
Ever since 2010 the Harry Ransom Center became the home to the first photograph. It is sealed in an oxygen-free case to protect it. This photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce around 1826. He started playing with lithographic printmaking (or hellography) because he couldn't draw properly. Instead, he used chemical reactions from a photosensitive surface.
This museum has many interesting information but you have to learn about it before bringing kids in. It is not very interactive, so you must engage them with data and invite them to imagine what life was like when we didn't have what we are so used to now. This is a great opportunity for them to realize that some things weren't always there, but they can also imagine things that will come after.