Spend a Morning with an Inventor

Award-winning workshop returns to Vernon Museum July 11-15

Local inventor Garry Garbutt is eager to share his spark-gap transmitter and other fascinating inventions during his A Morning with an Inventor workshop tours July 11–15. (Submitted Photo)

Back for the second year, A Morning with an Inventor workshop tours return to the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives July 11-15.

Local inventor, electronics expert, machinist, welder, steam engineer and restorer of antiques, Garry Garbutt, is eager to open the doors to his workshop again to the curiously minded, aged eight to 108. Those who love to create, tinker, to play around with machines and tools themselves will not want to miss this opportunity to learn and be inspired.

The morning event includes an active display of Garbutt’s own creations, as well as some resurrected scientific demonstrators from the 1930s to 1950s, many of which were inherited from Kelowna resident Bill Allen. One of Garbutt’s newest recreations that he is excited to share is a spark-gap transmitter.

“A spark-gap transmitter was what Marconi used for the first transmission across the Atlantic,” explains Garbutt. “It also sent the first SOS transmitted from the Titanic.”

See related: Museum program captures provincial honour

Some other fascinating inventions on his workshop tour include a Wilmshurst machine, Jacob’s ladder and a Crooke’s tube, as well as a tesla coil demonstration that’s always a hit.

Garbutt has a long history of collaborating with the Vernon Museum. He restored the old Post Office clock and Captain Shorts’ engine which are on display in the Museum, and he has given presentations on Tesla’s inventions which were very well received.

“Garry loves to teach. As a self-taught expert he knows how important it is to share information. He hopes to inspire the next generation of inventors,” said Gabriel Newman, Museum Education Coordinator and Field School organizer.

A morning with an Inventor is part of the award-winning Field School Series hosted by the Museum, which is teaming up with local businesses, organizations, and experts who have historic skills. Previous field school topics have ranged from a turn table workshop, to how to shave with a straight blade, how to make dogbane hemp rope, and even how to use a scythe properly. Plans are in the works for a Kimchi demonstration later this summer.

Garbutt is opening up his workshop for five dates this year, running daily from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 11 through to Sunday, July 15. Due to the limited space available in his workshop, tours can accommodate a maximum of six people. However, private viewings are available upon request and appointment. Call the Museum to make arrangements at 250-542-3142. Tickets are $10 each and must be purchased in advance at the Museum.


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