Joshua Ruff, curator of Carriage and History Collections at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, visited the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society Sunday to speak about carriages.
"People are used to seeing them in the movies and television and not in real life," Ruff said. "The fact that we have the authentic real thing, and people can see how it worked and how they were important to American society in the 19th century, it's a really valuable thing."
Ruff has been with the Long Island museum since 1997, but the Carriage Museum was founded in the early 1950's. Recent additions have been made since 2003.
"We've added new galleries to the Carriage Museum over the last seven years so every time we add something new, there's a big response," Ruff said. "We still have a long way to go in the process."
At the Carriage Museum, viewers can find six different galleries depicting the extensive history of society's first mode of transportation. Museum-goers are taken through the transportation of Long Island in the 1800s, how carriage were made and different styles of carriages through the years.
Mildred Johnston, president of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society, reached out to Ruff to attend Sunday's meeting.
"We're very familiar with the carriage museum. It's not static, it changes," she said. "He's extremely accurate, and he brings a nice personality to the subject."
William Johnston, a Farmingdale historian and board member of the Historical Society, appreciated Ruff's presentation and plans to visit the Carriage Museum again this year. "I enjoyed the presentation very much," he said. "It's informative and entertaining, and helps pull a lot of events and trends together."
Ruff has worked with the Historical Society in the past, speaking about local subjects like the history of Levittown and Long Island movies. He has showcased the presentation on carriages to many groups across Long Island recently and plans to continue to in the future.
The Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society has devoted their time to the rich history of Long Island since 1965. Each month, the Historical Society holds public meetings for members old and new. Up until recently, they have met at the , but due to renovations, the group has been holding their meetings in the board room at .
"In this time where a lot of us are struggling, there are things you can do close to home," Ruff said of the museum. "I hope Long Islanders know it's a resource they have right here, that they can come see all the time."