Thanks for checking out the Mobile History Project!
The Mobile History Project was launched in 2018 as part of an Eagle Scout Project undertaken by seventeen-year-old Life Scout Caillian Sheehy and backed by the Medfield Historical Society. The ambition of the project was to promote knowledge and awareness of the historic places in Medfield, particularly among the younger generation.
With mobile devices being very popular and dominant in the flow of information, the use of QR codes became an appealing gateway. The project involved installing QR code plaques at some of the historic buildings in town. When the QR code is scanned on a mobile phone, it loads a dedicated web-page that includes a photograph, a short paragraph, and a brief audio recording that summarizes the history of the building.
This project helps get the information to everyone, and helps garner tech-savvy youth interest. QR codes that hook-up to audio have become popular in museums, art galleries, and national parks. It has avoided the need to print paper pamphlets and the trash and waste problem that entails. In museums and galleries it has dispensed with the need to rent out custom audio devices for self-guided tours.
One of the challenges of this project was reconciling the futuristic-looking black and white QR codes with the timeless beauty of our historic buildings. The solution was to make QR Code Plaques that look like traditional brass boiler plates. The boiler plate plaques are often mounted on buildings on the National Register and don’t look out of place. To mimic these boiler plates we turned to 3D printing and used the classic black and gold finish to achieve that historic look. The 3D printer at The Medfield Public Library was used to prototype and develop the parts that made up the plaque.
So the next time you visit a place like The Kingsbury Grist Mill or if you are passing by The First Baptist Church or Unitarian Universalist Church, don’t forget: The Mobile History Project is on-hand to tell you about the history of the building, just scan the QR code and press play when the page loads.
Thanks for checking out Medfield Mobile History! You’re on your way to learning something about Medfield’s fascinating past and you can help transport it to the future!
Links to sites in this project: