Bluecadet Creates Monticello App

Bluecadet (Philadelphia) created the new mobile app "Slavery at Monticello: Life and Work on Mulberry Row" for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

The app, available for iPhone and Android phones, tells the stories of slaves at Thomas Jefferson’s home and plantation at Monticello, Va.

“History is typically told through the eyes of well-known historical figures, but that is only one perspective. This app brings to life the stories of those who have been overlooked and neglected by history,” says Josh Goldblum, Bluecadet founder and CEO.

Using advanced geolocation technologies combined with personal stories from America's most researched plantation, the app allows both on-site visitors and those exploring from home or school a new, self-guided look into the lives of slaves. It is being hailed by teachers as a valuable in-class resource.

Mulberry Row, the industrial hub of Jefferson’s 5,000-acre agricultural enterprise, was populated with more than 33 dwellings, workshops, and storehouses between 1770 and 1831. Today almost none of these structures remain. As visitors walk the grounds, the app offers a nuanced story of this dynamic yet little-known community, providing context and meaning to history both visible and invisible.

At Monticello, the app’s advanced location-awareness features offer users content related to their location as they tour Mulberry Row. Using iBeacons and Monticello’s enhanced outdoor WiFi network, the app is geo-specific within a few feet of the user’s location. When passing the ruins of the forge, visitors are greeted with the sounds and stories of forge workers. In addition, an interactive map helps users locate nearby points of interest and find amenities throughout Monticello’s grounds.

Off-site app users--at home or in school--can browse historical objects, photographs, letters, and stories that bring the community and its residents to life. Each object and letter is enhanced with video, annotations, and narration. The app also includes exclusive video interviews with living descendants of Jefferson’s slaves, offering first-hand insight into the lasting impact of slavery in America.

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