The Howard County Museum unveiled Saturday a mobile tour of its Seiberling Mansion that allows patrons to scan QR codes with their smartphones or tablets and learn more about their favorite exhibits.
“The idea is to give them a good experience,” said Dave Broman, executive director of the Howard County Historical Society. “People are coming to expect technology.”
Broman started toying with the idea of a mobile device tour more than a year ago. Then the organization got some funding from the Greater Kokomo Convention and Visitors Bureau that allowed it to move forward with the project.
Broman said he spent months deciding what information and photographs to include with each exhibit on the tour.
He said he wanted to make sure it was enough to keep people interested and engaged.
Scan a code near the phonograph that sits on the main floor of the Seiberling, and you’ll see a photo of an old factory building pop up.
The photo, taken in 1915, shows the old building that became the home of Davis Industries in 1926. Look right below the image and you can read about the company’s history in the City of Firsts.
The company was headquartered in Chicago. In 1926 it looked to Kokomo to start a manufacturing plant to expand its mail-order radio business. It signed a contract to use the Haynes Automobile Assembly building and started installing equipment there in 1927, the mobile tour says.
The Kokomo plant became its chief manufacturing facility, assembling radio and phonograph cabinets and making cabinet novelties and furniture. But during the Great Depression, the company saw its orders plummet. It put its employees on part-time work to try to save the company. It didn’t work. Davis Industries shuttered its Kokomo facility on Friday, Sept. 26, 1930, according to the mobile tour.