Today’s Technology, Yesterday’s History

From one of the first ballot boxes to hold African-American votes to Union flags, APUSH students were shown it all in their guided tour of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.


This picture shows items from the militaries of the Civil War. On the left are Union items, like the flag (which can be seen to only feature 36 stars for the 36 states of the time) and an example of their uniform. On the right, there are Confederate items, like an example of their flag and their uniforms. The middle shows items used during the war, like instruments, weapons, and even a sample of hardtack.

Jaiden Radoczy, Bear Hub Staff

The trip, funded on a grant from the East Brunswick Education Foundation, was organized by Mr. Segall and took place through a Zoom call with employees of the museum. The computer was placed on a cart and wheeled through the exhibit, where Kevin, the tour guide, would stop in front of papers and artifacts and explain their significance to the Civil War and its time period.
Mr. Segall organized the trip to give his students an engaging experience outside of class. He explains, the museum tour “sounded exciting to me. Seeing the artifacts and documents in person is irreplaceable, but the private tour of a museum exhibit to answer our questions is special as well.”

Mr. Hynes, the other APUSH teacher who attended the trip, also spoke highly of the experience, saying that “I thought that the copy of Dred Scott’s petition to be made free was amazing, as was the repurposed cereal/voting box from the 1870s.”

Students held similar opinions about the importance of the artifacts and the way that they affected the United States. Due to the positive response to this trip, Mr. Segall plans to find other virtual tours that show other parts of the country’s history in museums near and far.