August 14, 2014 in Features, Seven

MAC provides inspiration for would-be inventors

Our Weekly Pick For Families

Downtown Spokane parking problems inspired inventor Royal Riblet to design a mechanical Pigeon Hole Parking System in the 1950s, according to the MAC. A model of Riblet’s mechanical garage (in the back right corner of the white table in front) will be on display as part of the museum’s Super Saturday offerings.
(Full-size photo)

Inventors have to start somewhere. Saturday, the MAC is offering marshmallows, toothpicks and an invitation: Invent away.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s Discover Your Inner Inventor day is part of its Super Saturday series.

“It’s basically a family-friendly activities day,” said Linda Strong, a manager at the museum.

Visitors are invited to look and touch, viewing the museum’s exhibits – now including works by Pullman’s Patrick Siler, known for his pictorial narratives – and digging into its hands-on activities.

Inventors-to-be can design marble runs, experiment with drinking straws to build sturdy bridges, and create structures with toothpicks and tiny marshmallows.

They’re also invited to check out No. 45 in the museum’s “100 Stories” history exhibit, which focuses on Royal Riblet. Riblet – whose cliffside home is now owned by Arbor Crest winery – was an inventor who operated the Riblet Tramway Co. with his brother, Byron Riblet.

The exhibit includes engineering models for some Riblet inventions, including a mechanical garage that could pick up a car and move it.

Also on the day’s agenda: Artist Liz Bishop will help visitors create with clay. Outside, musician Louis Zody will play his hand drums and let kids take turns playing them, too.

And Campbell House, next to the MAC, will hold an open house, “which is really very child-friendly,” Strong said, “because depending on the age of the child you can stay as long or as little as you want.”

Adrian Rogers

When: Super Saturday activities run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Campbell House will be open from 12 to 4 p.m.

Where: MAC, 2316 W. First Ave.

Admission: $10, general; $7.50 for seniors (60 and older); $5, students with ID. Children 5 and younger and MAC members get in free. Active military members, families get in free at MAC through Labor Day.

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