As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Chelsea Hansen has been working with General Ulysses S. Grant's collection of...
As new monetary technologies emerge, how are they changing the way individuals and small businesses make transactions? Collections Manager...
Educator Victoria Altman introduces a new book-based summer activity to share with youngsters, especially budding entrepreneurs.Most...

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Sheet music cover
On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act that made Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner" the...
Apparatus
February 27, 2015, marks the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the radioactive carbon isotope, carbon-14, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben...
Alyea in lab with mechanism
I'm willing to bet most people would agree that hearing some of the earliest recorded sound is pretty cool. But what exactly makes it so...
Measles sign
In 1904 C. A. Lindsley, the secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Health, complained that "measles is still prevailing in an epidemic...
Blue poster announcing year of innovation
Do you ever wonder how your National Museum of American History conceptualizes and then creates the exhibitions and programs that so many...
Touring Ralph's workshop
I love being around inventors. I love the quality of their imaginations, but most of all, I love the kind of people they are, their...
Etching of Dr. Craver
Several years ago, the museum acquired this striking portrait of Dr. George Washington Carver, the famous African American scientist and...
Valentine card with phone lines
Sending warm and fuzzies to a special someone this Valentine's Day? If you're not able to convey your affections in person, you'll probably...
G. Yamazawa
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the imprisonment of 120,000 Americans of...
Illustration of two grebes
Happy National Bird-Feeding Month! While this perhaps escaped your attention as a major milestone on the calendar of holidays and...
Ellipsograph
As a child, you may have played with a simple wooden toy called a "do-nothing" machine or simply a "grinder."As a mathematician, I find...
Atkins Mustard Ointment jar
We are bombarded daily through print and digital media with information and advertisements about "new" products to help consumers with...
Coconut bowl
It's that time of year again. The Seattle Seahawks return to the big game on Sunday, this time taking on the New England Patriots, and here...
What motivates donors to give to museums? As a development intern at the National Museum of American History, I was curious to find out.One...
Side portrait of Bell, blue tinted
The name Alexander Graham Bell has become indelibly tied to the telephone (so much so that I'm surprised we don't call those handheld...
Image of Smithsonian castle with smoke and flames
It was a cold January afternoon 150 years ago this week. Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was working in...
The Battle of Fort Fisher may not sound familiar. However, its little known role in the demise of the Confederacy is movie worthy. Fort...
Do Dorothy's ruby slippers still work if you tap them together three times? What's with the punctuation in our national anthem? Where can I...
Students' object portraits
I am a strong believer in helping my students become productive citizens through character education, and I believe that history...
"There is no subject attracting more attention at the present time among men of science throughout the world, than the newly discovered...
Lightbulb patent
If time-travel were possible and I could pick a moment, I'd choose Menlo Park, New Jersey, for my destination on New Year's Eve in 1879.As...
As we celebrated our 50th anniversary this year, we often gave blog readers a peek behind the scenes. Here are our readers' favorite posts...
Historic denture
From scary-looking dental devices to a highly symbolic stump, there were many Civil War blog posts you loved this year. Here are your...
Staff members in Star-Spangled Banner gallery installing manuscript
Judging from our readers' favorite posts, you love Civil War history, aren't very good singers, and can't wait for Downton Abbey ...
Cover of Rudolph booklet
The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a cultural icon that heralds the Christmas season, was first introduced to the American public...
A museum employee wears glove and holds an Uncle Sam toy
Heather Paisley-Jones is an education specialist and a member of the exhibition team for the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object...
For me, it's almost hard to imagine a holiday season without Coca-Cola. The adorable polar bear commercials, the penguins romantically...
Queen Elizabeth II meets Duke Ellington
Smithsonian Jazz Intern Jake Huss shares the stories behind the selections heard at the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra's holiday...
Detail image of cholera man
Every few years, we read the headlines about a new, or resurgent, disease that threatens global health. Fears of transfer erupt and...
Atari E.T. cartridge in landfill dirt
The video game history collection at the museum has some amazing objects in it that represent big moments in the development of the...
"Health corsets" and ready-to-wear clothing will be a part of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project, opening July...
Ad of Swift's ham and bacon
I used to eat a lot of expired bread back in 2011. I'd just moved from my home in Singapore to Florida for college and had been used to...
Ralph Baer passed away on December 6. The world will remember him as the inventor of the first video game. Here at the Smithsonian, we also...
Shoes on box
As the Museum gears up to open new exhibitions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, our curators have combed the country, looking for the richest...
When I was in eighth grade, my government teacher gave us a homework assignment that I did not do. The next day, we were told to hand ...
Two documents reveal the high tech significance of merchant and entrepreneur Cyrus W. Field's anniversary party, 124 years ago today....
With the news that the Smithsonian has created the first-ever 3D presidential portrait, Intern Haley Rivero shares a close-up experience...
Santa Claus Soap / made only by / the N.K. Fairbank Company / New York, Chicago / gifts for Santa Claus wrappers. [Trade card.]
Business Program Manager Kathy Sklar doesn't want you to miss the museum's holiday festivities. Here's why.1. Free screenings of The...
This winter, Zócalo Public Square and the National Museum of American History are launching an unprecedented partnership and a new, three-...
An early ready-mixed paint can at Sherwin-Williams in Cleveland, OH.
Editor/Writer Leslie Poster took one for the Object Project team by adding a little detour to her family visit in Cleveland, Ohio...
Diverse figures are gathered around a Thanksgiving table in this illustration
Thanksgiving is often imagined as a time of gathering and inclusion. We frequently picture our quintessentially American holiday as when we...
Horse hoof cauterized and preserved with a coat of shiny black enamel
In the early morning hours of March 30, 1890, in Washington, D.C., the collision of two horse-drawn fire wagons racing to answer an alarm...
Alexander Calder's Gwenfritz on the day of its rededication On Halloween day, a gorgeous 40-foot-tall black specter...
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett's coonskin cap, now on view in Starring North Carolina! at the...
Stubby the dog
Veterans Day is a time to commemorate the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the armed forces. However, the service of...
Spitz Junior Planetarium
On November 17 and 18, I'll be in my backyard hoping for clear skies as the Leonid meteor shower lights up the sky. Here in the museum's...
15th century painting depicts hand cannons in action
The 620-year-old solid piece of iron is as heavy as it looks. Examining this brutally simple hand cannon, it's hard to imagine that...
Man with camera in military uniform
Using a camera taken from a German officer who had died in battle, Paul Bland documented his experiences across Normandy, Northern France,...

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