Einstein at the Exploratorium!

by ryan

This is a copy of an email sent by Richard Brown on Pie Day!!!

Of course, Albert Einstein never actually visited the Exploratorium, but did you know that our collection includes exhibits that were actually used by Einstein? One of these is still on our museum floor. Can you guess which it is?

baby einstein

Answer: “The original Ames “Chair Demonstration”, now in our SEEING area, was among the Ames demonstrations Albert Einstein once played with more than 50 years ago. Also in our collection, but currently in storage, are the original Ames “Cockeyed Room”, “Leaf Room”, and “Humascope”. (Several of our other anamorphic illusions, such as “Distorted Room” and “Trapezoidal Window” are also based on Ames demonstrations, but they are later copies, not Ames originals.)

Besides Einstein, other notables who visited and discussed the original Ames demonstrations include John Dewey, Alfred North Whitehead, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Richard Gregory. In fact Dewey wrote Ames, “I think your work is by far the most important work in the psychological-philosophical field during this century – I am tempted to say the only real important work.”

So while celebrating Einstein’s birthday, why not take a moment to share his appreciation of the Ames Chairs, and note the lovely ‘patina’, some of which may have come from Einstein’s own pipe.”