Friday, April 22, 2011

What On Earth Are These?

Wired has a great feature on old scientific instruments in the museum of the National Institute of Standards and Technology whose function is no longer known. The NIST is soliciting help in identifying them.
It's natural to assume that, in our information-overloaded culture, the identity of modern tools won't be forgotten. But that's not the case, said Avila.

"It's not normal to label and categorize and index the things we have and use," she said. "It's not in the habit of people who use tools every day to do that. Obsolescence and technological change happens much sooner than you think."

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