The story of the invention of the electrical plug

As electricity became more commonplace in homes throughout the United States, appliances proliferated. Toasters, curling irons, shaving razors, space heaters, clothing irons, electric fans, sewing machines and many more devices were touted as major improvements in homeowners’ quality of life. A Hotpoint ad from 1919, for example, advertised coffee percolators, toasters and ovenettes that promised to “put an end to …

SPARK Museum teacher resources

With creation of new resources, SPARK aims to support teachers, students in science learning

Ever since temporarily closing its doors on March 16 to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members at SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention in downtown Bellingham have been hard at work ensuring that the museum comes out of this strange time stronger than ever. “While we greatly miss our visitors and our volunteers, we have been able to use this …

From SPARK: Thank you for the incredible support

What a community! It is a true honor for us at SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention to serve the Whatcom County community from our space here on Bay Street in downtown Bellingham. SPARK Museum might be shuttered temporarily, but please know that we’re working hard behind these closed doors (and from our computers at home) to ensure that our nonprofit …

Dear friends of SPARK, As we all work to navigate the constantly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, please rest assured the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors is our top priority. We will be updating this page with relevant information regarding closures, policies, cancellations, etc. We appreciate all of you, and invite you to join us in …

Geissler, Crookes and the CRT

Here at SPARK Museum in downtown Bellingham, we sometimes refer to them as “ships in a bottle.” The intricate glass tubes are individual works of art — swirling, colorful designs that truly could be ends in themselves, given how beautiful they are. But as gorgeous as Geissler and Crookes tubes are, they are much more than things to look at. …

Museum Honors Jamie Yoos with SPARK Award at Annual Fundraising Gala

Bellingham, WA — The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention will present the third annual SPARK Award to Jamie Yoos, a noted local science teacher and advocate. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to science education and advocacy, will be presented at Ignite the Night, the Museum’s third annual Fundraiser, on February 29, 2020.  “We selected Jamie Yoos for his unwavering …

Play with science at SPARK Museum

SPARK Museum is all about hands-on learning. To encourage curiosity and scientific thinking, the downtown Bellingham museum loves it when visitors interact with the process of invention. Guests at SPARK don’t just observe electrical phenomena; they take part in them. One way SPARK helps visitors feel (often literally) the shock of invention is through interactive devices, of which there are …

Electrical history: Lighting before the incandescent bulb

Back in the mid-1800s, the match revolutionized the use of artificial light. In homes and businesses at that time, oil lamps were the predominant source of light after sunset, but getting them lit was no simple task until the match arrived on the scene. Before the match, however, a number of creative attempts were made to produce a portable and …

Nominees needed for annual SPARK Award

Inspiration. The Oxford English Dictionary defines inspiration as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” That sounds a bit like the museum, right? Mentally stimulating others to do something creative is what we are all about here at SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. And right now, we’re looking for one special …

Spooky Science at SPARK

Demystify haunted houses and spooky special effects! Join us at SPARK and learn the science behind your favorite haunted house tricks, and how you can replicate them at home. Come play with physics, chemistry, and perhaps a little hocus pocus for a fun-filled spooky weekend! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Activities are geared toward kids in second …