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18th Century Knowledge Showcased

Dr. John Page (Dean Howarth) demonstrates a simple vacuum machine to a young group of students at the apothecary shop on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2. With Howarth is Hannah Jones portraying balloonist Sophie Blanchard.

Dr. John Page (Dean Howarth) demonstrates a simple vacuum machine to a young group of students at the apothecary shop on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2. With Howarth is Hannah Jones portraying balloonist Sophie Blanchard. Photo by Louise Krafft.

— Dr. John Page (Dean Howarth) and members of the Virginia Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge informed and entertained visitors at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2. The “Society” was organized in Williamsburg in 1773 by Dr. John Page as a forum for inquiring minds.

Beginning in 1992 by Dean Howarth, a physics teacher, formed Project Enlightenment as a historical interpretation society and is now a fully credited Living History class. School students research an individual who lived in the late 18th century enlightenment era and participate in local reenactment programs. The group will be performing again on Feb. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.