If a rotary phone or manual typewriter seems ancient, what about a T-handle auger or froe club? Anyone looking for a purpose for those last two items will surely find it at the Wilton Historical Society, with its new exhibition called Changing Times: Hand Tools Before the Industrial Revolution. The show opens Thursday, April 24, and runs through Oct. 4. Its opening will coincide with the beginning of a second exhibit, Tavern Signs & Paintings, by Heidi Howard. The second exhibition will remain open through July 5. Tools Walter Smith, whose personal collection is featured in the exhibition, is an emeritus trustee with the society and a longtime tool collector. \u201cThe Wilton Historical Society would not be what it is today without Mr. Smith,\u201d society director Leslie Nolan said last week. \u201cThere were more than a few people involved, but it cannot be underestimated what he has done for the society.\u201d In fact, she said, he had a hand in moving the Abbott Barn, the blacksmith shop, and the Fitch house to their current location on the property. Mr. Smith first started his collection nearly 65 years ago, and has amassed more than 4,000 tools from the 18th and 19th centuries. Six hundred of those tools will be on display at the society. \u201cRather eccentric shapes\u201d and \u201cworn wood handles\u201d lend a folk-art quality to Mr. Smith\u2019s collections, information from the historical society reads. The display will include such exhibits as Looking Through the Windows of History \u2014 which outlines the progress of glass-making in Wilton. \u201cWe did not have a glass industry in this country,\u201d Mr. Smith told the historical society about the earliest windows. \u201cThe size [of windows] was dictated by that [glass] which we could get sent over from England.\u201d Residents will be lucky if they happen to visit the exhibition when Mr. Smith is in the building, said Katherine Demo, a member of the historical society team. \u201cHe really is a treasure,\u201d she said, \u201cand he is very eager to share his knowledge. He knows so much, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge.\u201d Signs Re-creations of 18th- and 19th-Century tavern signs by Eastford resident Heidi Howard will hang in the Sloan House Gallery until July 5, with an opening reception slated for 4 to 7 p.m. on April 24. According to her website, Ms. Howard began to paint reproductions of historic trade and tavern signs \u201cwhen her interest in early American country painted antiques collided with her artistic background.\u201d A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ms. Howard is a trained fine artist who takes inspiration from her New England surroundings. Information: wiltonhistorical.org or 203-762-7257.