Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Imperial War Museum

I visited the Imperial War Museum. I am interested in history, and I found this to be a great museum. It had exhibits on WWI, WWII, and conflicts since 1945. It had a really great exhibit on the lives of children during WWII. The exhibit conveyed information about their lives through toys, letters, photographs, paintings, sound recordings, every day objects, and newspaper clippings. They had on display original documents like rationing cards. To me, it was very heart-breaking. One child had been in possession of a gas mask case that was made to look like a teddy bear. The exhibit also had original posters which communicated advice to the public from the government during that time. Then, we walked through an area that was made to look like a house during the time period complete with something that looked like a cage, which was actually an indoor bomb shelter.

Then we went to an area called the Blitz experience. Here, the museum staff had designed an experience that simulated us getting bombed during WWII. London was bombed 57 consecutive nights between 1940 and 1941. Then, we exited into an area which was supposed to feel like a neighborhood in London which had been bombed. It was very eerie and very interesting. I very much enjoy when historical museums can help patrons to imagine what real people during that time perriod had gone through, and the Imperial War Museum was highly successful at this attempt.

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