Summer is a time for being outside, but there are lots to see and do inside too.
When it's too hot and humid, or if it's raining all day, here are three spots in Kent County that can take your mind off the weather:
The Johnson Victrola Museum, Dover
The Johnson Victrola Museum highlights the life and achievements of Delaware’s native son, Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901.
Exhibits include photographs, recordings, memorabilia, trademarks, objects and paintings highlighting Johnson’s successful business enterprises and chronicling the development of the sound recording industry.
Johnson graduated in 1882 from the Dover Academy (now Wesley College) and was urged to learn a trade because he wasn’t considered intelligent enough for college.
Instead, he went to work as a machinist in Camden, N.J., and soon invented a motor that would play recorded disks at a constant speed. Up until then, phonographs relied on hand cranks to operate.
Johnson also introduced the world to “Nipper,” the black and white dog who was pictured listening to “His Master’s Voice” on a Victrola.
The Delaware native became a millionaire from the sale of his Victrola machines and retired in 1927 at the age of 60. He died in 1945.
In 1985, Johnson was awarded a posthumous Grammy, which is on display at the museum.
Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover Air Force Base
The Air Mobility Command Museum traces the long history of military airlift and aerial refueling through active displays, cockpit simulators and more than 30 military aircraft on display both inside and outside its hangar.
The hangar served during World War II as home to a secret rocket test project, and afterward as home to a number of fighter squadrons protecting the East Coast. The building underwent a complete restoration in the 1990s, becoming home to the AMC Museum. It now is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum’s aircraft run the gamut from biplanes to the only C-5A Galaxy on museum display in the world. The C-141B Starlifter and C-130 Hercules are open for self-guided tours, weather permitting. Many more aircraft are open to the public the third Saturday of each month between April and October for the museum’s Open Cockpit Day.
Most of the museum’s volunteer tour guides are former military personnel, many of whom either flew or worked on the aircraft on display. They are happy to provide one-on-one tours or tours for large groups. They are a treasure trove of information about the planes and Air Force history.
Much of the museum is handicapped accessible, as is a C-141B. Photography is allowed and even encouraged.
The Milford Museum, Milford
The Milford museum was established in 1983 in the original post office building in downtown Milford. The structure is owned by the state Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and operated by a commission of the city of Milford.
The museum’s mission is to promote the history of Milford, its surrounding communities, and general Delaware history through exhibits and special programs. The building contains several permanent and changing exhibit galleries, plus a research library of Delaware publications.
Permanent exhibitions include local historic events from the 1700s to the present, shipbuilding, and local businesses. Other exhibits include a historical doll collection, Victorian silverware, Delaware ladybugs and early Milford baseball.
The newest permanent exhibit is “Thank You For Your Service,” honoring all Milford residents who served in the military from the Revolutionary War to the present.