Time

Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time; Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!) And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer's wonderland; Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London!)

The Barrel-Organ, Alfred Noyes

In the year 2003, Ohio will celebrate its 200th anniversary. But Ohio's "history" is a lot longer than 200 years. Humans have been in Ohio for thousands of years. And Ohio's rocks, soils, weather and other geographic features are millions of years old. Personal Time is the direct experience of an individual person. It can be less than 1 second, or an entire lifetime. Through memory, anticipation, and fulfillment individual humans experience personal time. People often use watches and clocks to keep track of their personal time. Historic Time has existed since humans started to record their lives and events several thousand years ago. Ever since then, written records and oral traditions have brought together extended periods of time that are longer than a single human life. Also, written records unite the individual experiences of two, three, or many people into collective experiences. These written records may be the history of your own family.

Compared with personal time, historic time on this earth is very long. It gives a much larger perspective than does individual human experience.

<img width="344" height="264" title="Image of a honey locust" alt="Image of a honey locust" src="images/naturalHistory/intro/honeylocust.jpg" />

In 1947, when this slice was cut from a honey locust tree in Dayton, Ohio, the tree was 151 years old. Changing growth conditions during each year of the tree's life left visible, annual rings in its wood. Knowing when the tree was cut, we can count backwards through the historic time that spans 1 1/2 centuries and mark the time of events from the life of artist John James Audubon in 1803, to the end of the Second World War in 1945.

Geologic Time

<img width="184" height="344" border="0" title="Image of sullivant minerals" alt="Image of sullivant minerals" src="images/naturalHistory/intro/sullivantminerals.jpg" />

Geologic time covers a VERY long period of time, often counting hundreds, even thousands of millions of years. If we think in terms of human life-spans - using 70 years as the average - one hundred million years would be the equal to about 1.43 million human lives strung out in succession, one after the other. The human experience with time does not let us easily understand such an immense span of time. During the mid-1800s, Joseph Sullivant of Columbus, Ohio made this collection of minerals and related objects. It was his personal collection, part of his personal experience, and so a part of his personal time. Since the collection contains geological specimens, it also represents geologic time. Also, since Sullivant gave the collection to his daughters, who later gave it to the Ohio History Connection, this collection represents the accumulated experience of several persons, or historic time.

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