The History Of Photography Doesn’t Quite Click

| PA, USA | Family & Kids, History, School

(I have a paid internship at a small, obscure history museum and battlefield. This site is so unknown that most locals don’t even know what war was fought here. A visitor comes in with her bored-looking teenage daughter.)

Visitor: “Hi! My daughter’s history teacher gave her an assignment to come to a local historical site, and we thought we’d come here!”

Me: “Great! It’ll be $5 a piece.”

Visitor: “So, this is a Civil War battlefield, right?”

Me: “Actually this battlefield was a part of Pontiac’s Rebellion, a Native American uprising that occurred in 1763, after the French and Indian War. If you follow me, I’ll take you back to our 13-minute video about the battle, and Pontiac’s Rebellion. It’s a great synopsis of the history surrounding the museum.”

Visitor: “Wonderful!”

(Our theater area is located at the very back of the exhibit, in an area that has blown-up photos of our annual battle re-enactments. I turn the video on.)

Me: “I will be happy to answer any questions at the end of the video.”

(At the end of the video, the visitor starts pointing at the re-enactment photos on the walls.)

Visitor: “So, these photos are from the actual battle?”

(The visitor’s daughter starts laughing.)

Me: “These are actually from our annual battle re-enactment held every summer.”

Visitor: “Where are the photos from the battle?”

Me: “Photography would not be invented for about another 80 years or so. Actually the first American war with any photographs was the American Civil War.”

Visitor: “Oh. When was the Civil War?”

Me: “1861-1865.”

Visitor: “When was this [battlefield’s] war?”

Me: “1763.”

Visitor: “So, what war was this?”

Me: “The French and Indian War.”

Visitor: “So, how long was this war before the Civil War?”

Me: *facepalm*