SMECC Outreach Projects
Home ] Eaglepoint Youth Library ]


These are a sample of a few projects
 the Museum has participated in!

Dedication Ceremony April 3rd, 2003
 Eaglepoint Juvenile Correction Facility.


From St. Peter's- Jim Chalker, Gay Romack & Melissa Thomas

From The Southwest Museum of Engineering Communications and Computation - Ed Sharpe

SMECC donated over 155 Large Crates of books to fill the library. 
Reading is part of communications but material has to be made
available to all.

As in years past, 2003 was not exception,  thousands of books were  gathered and transferred to the ReadFest held at Glendale Community College. Every Child that attended received a book as a gift and there were thousands of books  for people to buy. The proceeds from this sale  benefited the ReadFest group.
SMECC provided the bulk of the books for the Heard Museum book sale  Jan 2004.  we went by the sale and it was interesting to see people enjoying the treasures they were getting there! We have provided material for the last 3 yearly sales.


2004 Futures City  Competition SMECC sponsored the award for
"Best Use of Communications Devices" Jan. 2004

Best Use of Communication Devices

Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications & Computation ( SMECC )

Matt Houston, Daniel Pressler and Blayne Kennedy
Teacher Sponsor: Scott Weiss
Engineer Mentor: Neil Barrett
From Sierra Vista Middle School



 AND SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATIONS (ACESA) provided judges for the
Science Olympiad March 6, 2004 held at Glendale Community College.

It is always a pleasure to see  youth enthusiastic
 about  Science and Technology!

SMECC UPDATE - Ed Sharpe Director and Lead Archivist for SMECC

Historic Sahuaro Ranch, in Glendale Arizona, offers the highlight of the  2004-2005 season with the historical exhibit, "Rural Electrification."

The Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation (SMECC),  located in Glendale Arizona, is proud to collaborate on this display by  providing information, pictures, signs and example of appliances from the pre-electric and electrified era.

SMECC Director, Ed Sharpe's interest in REA stemmed from a personal interest to learn about one of  FDR's  three letter programs whose coverage was lacking during his high school American history class. He wanted to learn as much as he could!

"We had a small high density display of artifacts at the museum" Sharpe said. "We saw this exhibition as a dynamic example of two museums partnering to produce a large display with great depth" He continues, " Kudos to Carole De Cosmo at Historic Sahuaro Ranch Museum and her crew, the presentation of their material and our material was blended together in an intellectual and artistic manner."

When asked why a display on REA, Sharpe replied, " You can learn about  power distribution in cities from any of the major power producers." He continued "This was a chance to expose city folks to their rural cousin's quest for electrification and betterment of life, while providing visitors from  outside the city a chance to reminisce about their gaining of power and technology."

Sharpe continues to acquire more books, artifacts and paperwork related to REA, and also things related to all forms of engineering, communications and computation.

This informative and entertaining exhibit tells how electricity dramatically changed the methods of farming and "Rural Electrification" explains who was responsible for bringing electrical power, what circumstances made it possible and feasible, when it happened, and how electric power was generated and transmitted in the past.

The fact that the Salt River Valley was electrified before the REA and the rest of rural America is unknown to most Valley residents. The farmers mortgaged their land to bring water (and its byproduct, electricity) to the Valley. This display offers an education on Arizona history and  also a look at what was happening in other farming communities in the United States through Rural Electric Cooperatives.

Electricity made the farm family's live a more pleasant existence with the most profound effect on the farm wife. Before electricity the farm wife had to pump the water by hand, heat with coal and wood, wash all the clothes on a scrub board and tub, air dry the clothes and then iron them with irons heated by coal or wood stoves.  After an exhausting day of all this and other work the poor lady would then  read by the substandard light provided by candlelight or kerosene lamp.

The rest of the family that was out working the operational  aspects of the farm enjoyed the labor and time saving benefits offered by electricity.

Milking the cows was faster and more efficient.

Pumping water electrically was a  wonder!

Having good lighting added  to productivity and safety.

Electric tools made construction and repair on the farm move at a faster pace!

Radios and  later televisions could be  just plugged into the wall.. gone were the bulky batteries and wind chargers.

But... to learn all the benefits,  you need to  take in this wonderful exhibition!

Rural Electrification brought farm families together as they formed cooperatives to obtain electric  power.  Some of the side activities included REA cook books, picnics, work parties, pot lucks and more.  REA brought people together and  made life better! 

Below: Rural Electrification Exhibit opening night.

Carole De Cosmo, Director of Historic Sahuaro Ranch Museum
and Ed Sharpe Director and Lead Archivist of SMECC.

Pictured are some of the  3 dimensional  and pictorial REA artifacts the SMECC lent  for the exhibition.

Where to see it!

Historic Sahuaro Ranch is at 9802 N. 59th Ave., (59th and Mountain View) in Glendale and is open to the public. Website

The grounds - populated with peacocks, chickens, rabbits and graced with a rose garden - are open from dawn to dusk each day. Hours for the Galleries, Main House Tours and Museum Store are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Group tours and educational tours can be arranged by calling the Sahuaro Ranch Foundation office at (623) 930-4200. Admission to the grounds and gallery is free and open to the public.

The Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation (SMECC) can be reached at 623-435-1522 for further information on SMECC please visit

Thanks Ed Sharpe, Archivist for SMECC - -   See the Museum's Web Site at

We are always looking for items to add to the museum's display and ref. library  - please advise if you have anything we can use.

Coury House / SMECC
5802 W. Palmaire Ave.                          Phone    623-435-1522
Glendale Az 85301  USA

Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Ed Sharpe Director and Lead Archivist for SMECC  at Bitzee Mama's Restaurant in downtown Glendale Arizona. I was fortunate to  have some time to  discuss science, technology and education with Janet at the breakfast table. Unknown to many, Janet coded in FORTRAN at  Sandia High School in Albuquerque New Mexico in her younger days!
wpeC.gif (141749 bytes) PHX11 , the Phoenix government cable channel, required  a JVC KY2000 and a 3/4 JVC U-matic portable recorder to portray the first equipment they used to put City of Phoenix government activities on cable television

SMECC was able to assist them with the loan of equipment that is now on display in the station lobby.
(Click photo for larger view)

PHX11 began in 1984 as the city of Phoenix's government access cable channel with a staff of four and five minutes of programming per week.

Today, the award-winning PHX11 is one of the top local cable stations in the country, reaching an estimated 320,000 households throughout the Valley. It provides quality programs that educate, inform and entertain residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Oct 1 -Mar 27  2005          RE Az     
- The Electrification  of the Salt River Valley. 
at Historic Sahuaro Ranch in the Fruit Packing Shed Gallery located at 9802 N. 59th Avenue. For more information call (623) 930-4500


SMECC will provide artifacts for this  display!


Everyday we rescue items you see on these pages!
What do you have hiding in a closet or garage?
What could you add to the museum displays or the library?



DONATE! Click the Button Below!

Thank you very much!


Material SMECC 2007 or by other owners 

Contact Information for
Southwest Museum of Engineering,
Communications and Computation 

Talk to us!
Let us know what needs preserving!


Postal address - Admin. 
Coury House / SMECC 
5802 W. Palmaire Ave 
Glendale, AZ 85301 

Electronic mail 
General Information: