Museum Mascots on Social Media: Part 2

February 21, 2012

England, USA

22 February 2012

We continue with Part 2 in our series of guest posts from Owney the Dog, who has interviewed some of his fellow museum mascots to spread awareness of museum critters (and other non animal mascots^^) on social media. Of course, you can also follow Owney himself on Twitter and Facebook

I’m Friends with Two Mummies, a Mammoth, a Sabertooth Cat, and an 1800s Tavernkeeper, and You Can Be, Too! 

By Owney the Dog, a real, 1890s terrier mutt who gained fame and the admiration of postal workers by exploring the country by mail train and acting as a good luck charm to ward off wrecks, now a resident of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.

A seafaring dog and a sabertooth cat 

I probably chased quite a few cats on my Railway Mail travels but I’ve learned to play nice with Sabra Sabertooth via social media – maybe it had something to do with her giant teeth. Sabra is a diorama maker’s best approximation of what an Ice Age Smilodon or Sabertooth Cat would have looked like. Along with her two cubs (Rip and Roary), she is on exhibit at the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center in St. Joseph, Michigan and shares interesting facts about the Ice Age via Twitter.

Guerriere Terriere is a fellow canine friend who shared my love of adventure. Instead of riding mail trains, Guerriere was a rat-catching dog onboard the USS Constitution in 1815. Guerriere was named after the ship HMS Guerriere, which the USS Constitution defeated in the War of 1812. Guerriere also went beyond his rodent-chasing duties to protect the ship.  “One day, I was unusually frisky, nipping at the sailors’ heels and jumping onto the stowed hammocks,” said Guerriere. “Something was bothering me. So I stretched my neck and started to bark in one direction. The sailors strained to see what had attracted my attention and behold! There was a Portuguese ship off on the horizon that the watchmen had not yet discovered.” Guerriere got extra food rations for alerting the crew to danger. Today Guerriere also helps museum visitors stay on the right track—you can follow his paw prints around the museum! He also frolics around a fun online game you can try out for yourself.

A tavernkeeper and a miner

Museum mascots aren’t always animals. Maurice the Miner is social media greeter for the National Coal Mining Museum for England. Maurice was born in 1951 and went to work in the mines at age 17. He says the most common question he answers is “where miners go to the toilet when they are at work.” I admit that this question has occurred to me, as well. I better ask Maurice! Luckily our friendly miner is on both Facebook and Twitter with a total of about 800 followers – and please remember to read his tweets in an English accent.

Social media is all about networking, rubbing elbows, and being friendly. Tavernkeeper John Gadsby knows a thing or two about that – he was like an events planner for our early presidents! His tavern and hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, hosted balls for presidents and  Francis Scott Key was staying there when he wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Mr Gadsby was the richest man in Washington, DC, and lots of people wanted to be his buddy – you can be, too, on both Facebook and Twitter. Oh and my favorite thing about Mr Gadsby? He tweets in language suited to his time and place so he may give you a “huzzah” or raise a glass of port.

Previously in Part 1: Three marvelous mummies
Coming up in Part 3: Large beasts, short tweets 

[All images courtesy of the respective museum mascots.]


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    […] 1 – Three marvelous mummies Part 2 – A seafaring dog and a sabertooth cat; A tavernkeeper and a miner Part 3 – Large beasts, short […]

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