Women's History

Khaki uniform with skirt and collared jacket. Large brown buttons and two breast pockets. Brown lace-up boots with small heel. Brown hate with ribbon around it.
I came back from my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., with a Rosie the Riveter poster from the museum store here (not...
Photo of panels of quilt, one with American flag in center
This week, we're exploring how participation—people joining together to accomplish shared goals—shapes American life by exploring our...
Photo of quilt panels
Americans have often banded together for the common good. That could mean marching on the National Mall to protest injustice or...
Black and white photo of women in uniforms (pants, ties, hats, boots) lined up looking at a woman who appears to be in charge.
6:00 a.m. June 16, 1916. Nestled in the Ramapo Mountains of Passaic County, New Jersey, lay an orderly row of cream-colored tents. At the...
Photo of white lace in the shape of a circle with lion and crown in center
The Women in World War I object group was a long labor of love for my internship. Essentially an online exhibition, the object...
We recently shared a blog post featuring Bette and Lindsey Hagan, the mother and daughter who through their generous support created the...
Sheet music cover with witches
How would you describe a witch? Black pointy hats probably spring to mind, as well as a range of distinguishing ugly features like crooked...
With each new season, a new crop of interns comes to the National Museum of American History. Two museum supporters, Bette and Lindsey...
A photo of the bicycle in front of a palm tree
An 1896 Columbia woman's bicycle, made by Pope Manufacturing Company and embellished with gems and gold by Tiffany & Co., is currently...
"I call it my diamond dress," cooed Broadway star Carol Channing in her distinctive voice, which combined little-girl innocence with great-...
Photo of white overalls splattered with paint
As a curator at the National Museum of American History, I find that exhibitions are one space in which I can bring history to the public....
Photo of round, wooden table
You've just won voting rights for the women of America. What do you do next? Go to the Smithsonian!The women of The National American Woman...
Square shaped lace example, white on black background
"War" and "lace" are not often part of the same sentence. However, laces made in Belgium during World War I are an exception. About 50 of...
Green pocketbook
In the colonial era, a certain type of pocketbook was all the rage from 1740 to 1790. Both women and men used them to carry valuables such...
1930s entrée salad molds, metallic containers with decorative designs on black background
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project is a new learning space that explores "everyday things that changed everything."...
Photo of bicycle
An 1896 women's safety bicycle, currently on view in the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project, has proven to be one of the...
Violet postage stamp featuring portrait of Patrick Henry, with a simple frame around edge
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Pick pack in circle shape
It's often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but it can be the father of invention too. Here’s the story of an innovative...
Portrait of Caroline Jones at the start of her career as an advertising executive
A fedora, Lucky Strike cigarettes, and a set of cocktail-ready tumblers: all the hallmarks of a 1960s ad agency were on display Thursday...
The Cycle Parade March sheet music
It's that time of year when many D.C. commuters forgo their usual Metro rides and haul their bicycles out of storage or rent a bikeshare...
Midwife tools
In 1931, the documentary The Forgotten Frontier asked, "Do you know that America is still a frontier country for about fifteen...
Curator preparing “Abigail” doll for display in the “American Enterprise” exhibition.
A small, 11" cloth doll might seem like an incongruous object for discussing the issues of the American Great Depression. Yet enduring the...
Watercolor image of woman with red flowers
During the 1890s, just about any flat surface in the public eye might be covered with simple, bold, and colorful posters. They advertised...
Two women wearing hats in WWI photo
The scream of incoming shells would send French peasant women dashing to their cellars for safety, but then they would pick their...
"A Room of Her Own" by Sandra Cisneros at the National Museum of American History
If you've ever confused Día de los Muertos with Halloween, you might be surprised to learn how very different these fall holidays are from...
paper dolls
Paper dolls will be a part of Object Project and its exploration of ready-to-wear clothing. It opens July 2015.Celebrities sit in...
Selena's outfit in the collection
Iconic cultural objects have the power to preserve beloved chapters of history long after they come to a close. As we approach the 20th...
White and blue tennis Dress, worn by Bille Jean King during the "Battle of the Sexes"
As objects representing Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning history enter the museum's collection today,...
At the Super Bowl, Renee Fleming prepares to sing in a black and white dress
As part of our blog series about the Star-Spangled Banner leading up to Raise It Up! Anthem for America on Flag Day 2014, curator...
Today, on the anniversary of scientist Rosalind Franklin's death, we remember her with a story about how our audience pushed for her...
"votes for women" pin with stars
Intern Patri O'Gan shares a unique story of woman suffrage for Women's History Month.Woman suffrage button in the museum's collectionBy the...
Poster show child playing with blocks that spell "E L R E T O"
Smithsonian Latino Center Fellow Jessica Lott's dissertation research led her to our medicine and science collections, where she...
We doubt leg-of-mutton sleeves will make an appearance on runways during Fashion Week, but there's one thing that never goes out of style:...
One of the largest artifacts in our display on the 1913 woman suffrage parade is also one of the most delicate. Educator MK Macko explains...
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers remembers Diosa Costello. "I was the original J. Lo.," Costello said at a 2011 Smithsonian donation...
Dwight Blocker Bowers remembers actress Esther Williams, who died yesterday. She was much more than a would-be Olympic swimmer. Esther...

Pages