On the 105th anniversary of Julia Child's birth (August 15, 1912), the museum's food history team is thinking anew about Julia's life and...
To mark what would have been Julia Child’s 104th birthday on August 15, curator Paula Johnson shares new information on two works of art in...
Fans and friends of Julia Child will pause today, as they do every year on August 15, to remember the beloved icon of American culinary...

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Latin Jazz postage stamp
On October 16 and 17, the museum's own big-band-in-residence, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) will kick off their 25th...
KCOR Radio Microphone, early 1950s
In the U.S. today, Hispanic media is big business. In 2013, Advertising Age reported that spending in the U.S. Hispanic media market...
Olympia Mills, Columbia, South Carolina, about 1905. The all-electric Olympia Mills opened in 1899 about one mile down river from Columbia Mills. Explosive cotton dust in the air made the switch from open gas lamps to electric lights desirable. Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921
Engineering infrastructure usually isn't the most compelling topic for a blog post—except when it fails dramatically. In the wake of a 1,...
This tin lunch box was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1978. Released on the heels of the 1978 "Superman" movie, this lunch box shows Superman flying high above Metropolis in all his costumed glory. Not currently on display.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a suit! And not just any suit! It's the signature blue, red, and yellow suit...
At the first sign of symptoms, many people turn to the Internet for health advice. Early listeners to radio could turn their dials and...
Black and white illustration of woman and girl using machine
American inventions associated with the book were having a bit of a boom between the 1850s and the 1880s. The number of books published...
Photo of three boxes of crayons
The kids are back to school and parents have done their best to fill seemingly endless lists of new school supplies. But what did children...
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....
Image of political cartoon
You may not have heard about the Hart-Celler Act, but as the foundation of our current immigration laws it has had a dramatic impact on U.S...
Thomas Edison's patent model for improvements to a stock ticker
The Smithsonian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are hosting an Innovation Festival at the museum on...
Political cartoon
The amazing thing about running for president is how many people are actually willing to attempt it. The 2016 campaign's big crop is...
Today, museum staff members are answering questions sent in to us through social media, particularly Twitter. Here are a few of our...
Coin with "1939" and "New York World's Fair" on it
As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Scott St. Louis has been working on a cataloging project for a collection of coins and...
Ask a Curator graphic
The global online Q&A session between museum staff members and the public known as Ask a Curator Day took place on Wednesday, September...
A slow disco melody spins on the turntable, interrupted by the metallic sound of symbols. Right after that, the running sounds of bongo...
Place setting and tray used by the Kim family to serve Korean food
Entrepreneurial success and innovative spirit can come in many forms, and emerge from innumerable paths. The same can be said for stories...
Photo from a scene in the television show "EMERGENCY!" with five actors
The pre-reality television show EMERGENCY! premiered in January 1972. Health- and medical-themed programs such as the radio and...
Ben Kuroki was born on May 16, 1917, in Gothenburg, Nebraska, to Japanese immigrant parents. With the onset of World War II, Kuroki and...
Black and white photo of building
Guest blogger Sarah Weatherwax, a photography curator at the Library Company of Philadelphia, brings her expertise to bear on several...
Black and white photo of building surrounded by trees
Guest blogger Sarah Weatherwax, a photography curator at the Library Company of Philadelphia, brings her expertise to bear on several...
Photo of a concert on the museum's stage
Now that the first floor of our West Wing is open, I was curious what the head of our museum, Elizabeth MacMillan Director John Gray,...
Detail of the cover of "The Quest," which includes illustrations of a baby and a dog
In 1926 seven-year-old Belema Siegfried was turned away from school. The reason? Her parents had refused to submit paperwork proving that...
Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the...
Colorful poster with cartoon-like people traveling to be vaccinated in comic-like scenes. WHO logo in center.
At the height of the Cold War, Soviet and American scientists and physicians united to call for a new and very different war—one on...
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...
Titled sign, knocked over half way. Blue circular sign with arrow saying "HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE." Below that is square sign with AM FM radio stations for information. There is a dirty plastic bag on the ground.
Late curator David Shayt of the museum's Work and Industry division once said, "All museum work in one form or another is digging in the...
Photo of coin with swirly-bodied dragon thing in center
Ever wonder what it feels like to discover an object not seen for over 1,000 years? Ever been curious about the ancient world? Beginning...
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...
Black and white photo of two dancers, barefoot, wearing black pants. Feet, limbs intertwine.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
A photograph of the exhibition's Merchant Era section, featuring a red river cart
How appropriate that the day after a story describing the work culture at Amazon made national news, the Wall Street Journal published...
Dog look at camera, mouth open
In September 2012, I wrote a blog post about a contract working dog, Fausto, and his handler Jimmy Moore. We were introduced to...
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."...
Microscope, bronze in color, on small tripod. Small glass in viewer.
"Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and an aquarium has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are." So said...
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...
Woman leans over table with white covering and flag in many pieces
In our textile conservation lab, the final pieces of a million piece jigsaw puzzle have just been put into place. The "puzzle" in question...
Photograph, circa 1958, of four young African American women standing beside a convertible automobile
Beginning in the 1920s, widespread car ownership opened new opportunities to travel independently and explore. For black Americans, the...
Woman sitting on couch with turquoise fabric in her lap, holding some of its folds. Smiling. Gray couch, bookshelf in background.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Lobster on a plate
Our American Food History Project recently introduced Food Fridays, a new cooking demonstration series on the Wallace H...
Yellow bike with front and back baskets leans against a worn white wall, in the grass.
Junius Wilson's history has been told in newspapers, books, and even in this museum's exhibitions. It is the history of a man who had more...
Collage of four ADA buttons described in this blog post
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Black and white portrait of man in military uniform with two sleeves pinned up.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Power wheel chair with "yes!" bumper sticker on side
Over on Twitter, a lot of people are engaged in #DisabilityStories, an international conversation about disability art, culture,...
Black and white photo from street level looking up at two feet in wheel chair and a high curb.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Black and white photo of small, two-story house with balcony and porch. Approx. 20 soldiers in uniform sit and stand outside the house.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
“I can’t even get to the back of the bus”; ADAPT activists protesting for accessible transportation, Philadelphia, 1990
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
3D model of Mt. Vernon with red roof, white walls, green grass. Many columns and windows.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Yellow button with text saying in capitalized letters "Handicapped Human Rights: Sign 504 ACCD" in bold text.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...

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