Update COVID Guidelines

June 11, 2021 As COVID Safety Guidelines are shifting as more of the population is vaccinated, SPARK is choosing to follow the science, the CDC’s recommendations, and Gov. Inslee’s recommendations regarding masks in our facility. As of June 1st,2021, masks are optional for Fully Vaccinated individuals at SPARK Museum. If you are not vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask …

A Vision of the Future

The Chappe telegraph system played a key role in Napoleon’s conquest of Europe and provided the first demonstration of the power of instantaneous communication.  One of the surprising pleasures of studying history is learning about the many amenities people have always wanted. Advances like high-speed travel, recorded music, and machines that wash our clothing for us are just some of …

Now Hear This

A clear display case stands by itself in the SPARK Museum in downtown Bellingham. Inside is something distinctly untechnical- a plain megaphone of crude construction. The megaphone was built and used by the musician Rudy Vallee, whose music career stretched from 1921 to 1973. Rudy Vallee was an unusual singer at the time of his debut. The popular music of …

Teachers We’ll Never Forget

Here’s a favorite question we like to ask when getting to know new friends— “Can you recall a significant teacher in your life? Someone who helped you along the way?” A common response is usually something simple like “My 3rd grade teacher–Mrs. Miller,” or “Professor Benson, from freshman chemistry,” or “Mrs. Peterson, the school counselor”—often delivered with a warm smile, …

Doing Good – A Tribute to SPARK’s Volunteers

We feel fortunate to live in a community with so many charitable, public-spirited organizations whose mission is to help make our world a better place.  It’s humbling when looking over the list of the major challenges many of our fellow not-for-profit organizations choose to tackle:  Food banks, homelessness, mental health, protecting our environment, literacy & education, violence prevention, job training–the …

Some Reflections on the Pandemic

Having just passed the one year anniversary of when we shut our doors due to COVID-19, we, like much of the world, have found ourselves looking back on the last year reminiscing and remembering. We are so grateful to still be here serving our community and we are humbled as we remember those who have not been so fortunate. The …

A Nation United by Telephone

When Alexander Graham Bell first introduced his telephone in 1879, he predicted it would one day be accepted into every American home and business like gas and water. But to establish a telephone network that would someday reach homes all across the Nation—just like gas and water—there had to be an effective and affordable distribution system, a way to connect …

Lewis Latimer: Contributing to a Brighter World

“It’s a good thing Thomas Edison was born,” someone once proclaimed. “Or we never would have had the lightbulb.”   Upon hearing the comment, John Jenkins, SPARK Museum president & CEO, smiled and added, “If Thomas Edison had never been born, we wouldn’t have had a lightbulb for another week.” It’s amazing how many of us assume history’s greatest discoveries …

The value of a SPARK membership

You have probably heard that SPARK Museum has closed again temporarily, pursuant to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Nov. 15 mandate. More than ever, memberships are invaluable in supporting the work that SPARK does in the community. A membership is one of the best ways you can support SPARK Museum right now, because that money goes straight to supporting online education …

Can electricity bring people back to life?

In her book “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus,” published in 1818, author Mary Shelley was riffing on one of the profound questions of the time: “Is electricity the spark of life?” In her book, as you know, Shelley writes of a doctor — Victor Frankenstein — who becomes horrified at the creature he’s cobbled together from old body parts and …