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Michelle Parnett, The Strong
The Strong
Special Assistant to the President and CEO at The Strong
Recent Activity
Carving Jack-O’-Lanterns originated centuries ago from the Irish myth “Stingy Jack.” The story goes that Jack invited the Devil to join him for a brew. After the pair enjoyed their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2013 at Global Toy News
When the first Star Wars movie (now called Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) screened in theaters in May 1977, movie audiences marveled at its space-opera plot, engaging characters,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2013 at Global Toy News
Throughout my childhood, I proved a fickle piano player—I’d eagerly start taking lessons, then denounce sheet music and hide the metronome, only to begin lessons with a new instructor a... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2013 at Global Toy News
On the way to my office, I pass through a public area of the National Museum of Play at The Strong that staff affectionately refers to as the “valley of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2013 at Global Toy News
Since Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on February 14, 1876, the phone has served as a prop for various scandalous and playful moments in history. Bell originally developed a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2013 at Global Toy News
Fortune tellers use a variety of methods to explore the future, including studying tea leaves, handwriting, palms, cards, and the contours of the human head. In the early 1400s, people... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2013 at Global Toy News
During the holiday season, my loved ones call me a Grinch and a Scrooge. But I am not; I’m just overwhelmed by all of the stuff. For example, the United... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2012 at Global Toy News
In the early 1900s, more than 30 circus companies toured America. When the circus arrived in town, schools and businesses closed so children and adults could marvel at the spectacle,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2012 at Global Toy News
While I’m not big on gory thrills, I am a fan of other ghoulish delights and Halloween festivities. I especially enjoy picking out my costume. I’m not alone—historian Nicholas Rogers... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2012 at Global Toy News
For many educators and students in New York, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year. It’s also the time of year... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2012 at Global Toy News
According to my mom, I cried when I finished devouring my first ice cream cone. I wailed for the duration of our bike ride home from the local ice cream... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2012 at Global Toy News
Simon and Schuster published the first Little Golden Books in 1942. Filled with colorful illustrations and appealing tales, these inexpensive picture books hooked kids across America. Thanks to my cousin’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2012 at Global Toy News
I just returned from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference in Chicago. When I explained to a friend that an AWP conference falls short of a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2012 at Global Toy News
Part of the fun of watching a movie is in being able to see how the props influence a character’s journey. Can you imagine Dorothy without her ruby red shoes?... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2012 at Global Toy News
How much is the standard amount of money in a Monopoly game? How long could you hang upside-down and play a game of Monopoly? What did people insert into Monopoly... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2011 at Global Toy News
When I was three, my parents brought me to EPCOT Center, the home of SMRT-1, a purple and chrome robot surrounded by telephones. SMRT-1 challenged guests on the other end... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at Global Toy News
Recently, Google Doodle became to me what VH1’s Pop-Up Video meant during my teenage years—clever nuggets of culture. In 1998 Google’s cofounders Larry Paige and Sergey Brin played around with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2011 at Global Toy News
All of us have favorite playthings from our childhoods: the toys we insisted on taking to bed at night, the games we played endlessly (until our friends balked). Now you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2011 at Global Toy News
In high school history, many of us learned that paper is one of the four great inventions of Ancient China. With today’s technologies and green movement, paper is getting a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Global Toy News
As students return to the classroom, the former student and educator in me arouse mixed emotions. I watch reruns of such shows as My So Called Life, Freaks and Geeks,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2011 at Global Toy News
When I was six, my grandparents brought me to The Strong’s National Museum of Play to see the doll house collections. I traced the details of each miniature room—nursery wallpaper... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2011 at Global Toy News
New York winters keep two of my loves from venturing outdoors—my Dachshund Gilda and sports cars. Every summer day in Rochester, New York, feels like a festive parade, as car... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2011 at Global Toy News
I got the travel bug at an early age. A week prior to family vacations, I packed my suitcase with the essentials. When we weren’t traveling, I wrote detailed lists... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at Global Toy News
I spent much of my childhood reenacting episodes of “I Love Lucy.” As an only child, my performances consisted of one-man acts with a make-believe Ricky, Ethel, and Fred. My... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2011 at Global Toy News
Image user posts like “Terrific Toy-Tastic Home” and “How to Display Small Vinyl Toys” prove I’m not the only grown-up who wants to unveil my plastic toy collection. Since WWII,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2011 at Global Toy News