Gregg County Historical Museum’s attic boasts some strange, unique items

WEBXTRA: Museum mysteries

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - We’ve all been to museums, and most have items in storage that are rarely, or maybe never, on display. KLTV’s Jamey Boyum was curious about what’s in the attic and gained access to the Gregg County Historical Museum to show us some of their museum mysteries.

When people donate items to a museum some of it just doesn’t fit in with existing displays. At the Gregg County Historical Museum in Longview some of that stuff is stored upstairs, where we can sometimes find Larry Courington who said he’s been a docent “since about 2008, off and on.”

Courington said he’s been organizing the extra stuff for a while now because “there was just piles of stuff up here, and I started going through it.”

He boxed most of it, but some things just won’t fit in boxes like some old dental equipment. He says it was discovered upstairs before the museum opened from “a dental office that was upstairs here.”

He says the chair and foot-powered drill were used in “probably twenties and thirties,” that the dentist “would have to pedal it to be able to drill a hole in your teeth.”

It still works but I’m thinking you’d have to be a drummer to get the rhythm of that thing.

Another spinning device in storage would measure out 40 yards of yarn in twenty turns. A spring inside would tighten until it made a popping noise indicating forty yards for a ball of yarn. Larry says he was told “this was called a weasel, and that’s where pop goes the weasel came from.”

But the really weird thing? Well, it’s electric and it came from a chiropractor’s office according to Courington. It has a heavy metal wheeled base with what looks like an adjustable light, and came with round leather goggles. “Supposedly it put out some kind of light that would relax muscles. This is what I was told,” Courington said.

That looks right, but the exact model is still a bit of a mystery, although its company, Fischer, made similar products.

Boyum asked if it had ever been plugged in. “Not up here, no,” Courington said.

Boyum considered his sore back but decided to leave the device testing to an expert.

Although those and many other items upstairs may not be moved downstairs, the museum board will soon be discussing reworking some of the public displays.

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WEBXTRA: Museum mysteries