Monday, September 9, 2013

New displays take center stage as Needles Museum opens for season

This is one of several new displays at the Needles Regional Museum on Front Street. This display focuses on a scene from a 1930s beauty shop and what it may look like to get hair done. There are curlers and hair drying machines on display. The museum recently reopened for the season and is open 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. (JENNIFER DENEVAN/Needles Desert Star)

Needles Desert Star

NEEDLES — New displays and additional binders with historical information are part of what’s new at the Needles Regional Museum this year.

The museum, 929 Front St., reopened for the season Sept. 3. The museum is open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Flora Hill, president for the museum, said the large display at the back of the museum features a couple of mannequins depicting a scene straight from a 1930s beauty salon. Getting a ‘perm’ for a woman was a task back then.

Hill recalled a time when, as a child, her mother tried one out on her. The permanent wave machine looked like a tentacled beast with heated clamps at the ends in order to “permanently” curl hair.

It turned out to be a bit of a traumatic experience as it wasn’t easy to get curls at that time, Hill said laughing. She never tried it again, she continued.

The large display also includes other equipment and devices someone might have seen at the time including old clippers for men and a hair dryer. There is even a photo of Hill with her curls and her two siblings.

Not all the display cases have been changed yet, but most have been, Hill said. One such case that’s been rearranged to display items features old toys.

Hill said there are several dolls including an original “Dennis the Menace” and a Ricky Jr. from the “I Love Lucy” show. There are also several toys at the top of the case featuring heavy equipment made of iron which used to belong to Ed Perry, she continued.

One display case will be changed to show off old hats and some gloves, Hill said. There are several old hats exemplifying what would have been worn in an era gone by.

Along with new displays, there are new binders with Needles history featured, she said. There were already several binders discussing certain families and their histories, but there are more now including a couple showing old articles from several publications through the years, she added.

Hill said there are also new books for sale in the shop area.

The museum volunteers are doing a lot of work in being involved with the city’s Centennial Celebration, to be held Oct. 4, 5 and 6.

The calendar, a popular annual fundraiser for the museum, is coming out early this year because of the celebration, Hill said. Volunteers are also planning on having a special display for the centennial that will include several oral histories the museum has permission to play, she added.

In addition to new displays and books, the museum is always seeking donations of items that are in fairly good condition, Hill said. While space remains limited, having new items to be able to display at different times is a constant goal for the museum, she continued.

Volunteers are also always needed, she said. There isn’t a set amount of time someone has to commit to, she continued, but any time offered would be accepted.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer can call Cheryl at 760-326-4008. For more information about the museum call Flora at 760-326-2687 or Jackie at 760-326-4273.