The thaumatrope was at the cutting edge of science in 1824 — and is still a favorite hands-on activity for kids (and adults!) today. This simple historic toy was a precursor to modern animation. Part science, part history and part art, the thaumatrope works on the idea of “persistence of vision,” a flaw in the eye that causes an image to linger momentarily in the brain. Twisting the strings rapidly makes the two images appear to merge into one cohesive picture. Make your own thaumatrope today and then read below to discover science in the time of Texas' colonization!
Why Did One-Room Schools Not Focus on Science or History?
At that time of early Texas colonization, most of the events that we study today (like the American Revolution) had just happened. These events were so fresh on everyone’s mind that it wasn’t important to learn them in school -- especially when your father or grandfather might have participated in the war and could tell you more than any book.
Science in 1824
Science, on the other hand, was in a completely different place. Many of the tenets of science that we take for granted today had not even been thought of at the time. In 1824, the year the first legal land grant was issued in Texas, there were many scientific breakthroughs:
Texas in 1832
In 1832, the first rumblings of what would become the Texas Revolution was starting in Anahuac. Juan Davis Bradburn was trying to keep the peace and maintain the law, and was being thwarted at every turn by the increasingly resistant Anglo settlers. He later arresting the ever-popular William Barrett Travis.
Science in 1832
This blog post is adapted from a lecture by Allison Harrell called “Science in the Time of Texas Colonization.” To contact her about giving this lecture for your group or organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding has been provided to the Fort Bend History Association from Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
Fort Bend Museum Staff