Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 3, 2014

High-tech history

Howard County Museum unveils smartphone tour of Seiberling

(Continued)

You could also stand in front of the second floor exhibit of Dirilyte tableware and use your smartphone to read more about the company and see photos of the factory and of Harry Truman receiving a set of Dirilyte during his whistle-stop visit to Kokomo. Or you can see a tire made at Kokomo Rubber, read about the company’s invention of the pneumatic tire and see photos of the factory and the inventor, D.C. Spraker.

Don’t have a smartphone or tablet? Don’t worry. Standard cellphone users will be able to dial a local number and receive audio narrations that accompany museum exhibits.

Broman said this mobile tour is just another way for people to dig a little deeper into local history. Other museums around the country are already adopting the technology, but it’s something that’s still not widespread.

“We’re not at the leading edge, but we’re up toward the front in terms of these enhancements,” Broman said. “The world is changing, and we have to keep up with it.”

The mobile device tour of the mansion is phase three of the Howard County Heritage Tour. The first two phases of the project rolled out in the Old Silk Stocking District Walking Tour and the Downtown Kokomo Historical Architecture Walking Tour, which were developed by the Kokomo Historic Review Board.

Those tours explore the architectural features of local buildings. The new mobile tours of those areas allow people to learn more about the architecture and explore some of the interesting histories of the buildings.

Twenty-eight buildings in the Silk Stocking District and 23 buildings in downtown Kokomo are featured in the mobile tour, said Jerry Meiring, an advisor on the Historical Review Board.

Meiring said he’s hoping to reach a new audience with the high-tech tours.

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