Only a few days after the passing of James Cotton, one of the country's greatest blues harmonica players, we lost one of our greatest...
Phyllis Diller is widely considered the first female stand-up comic to perform as a solo act. While she is mainly known for her career in...
We asked Eric Jentsch, deputy chair and curator in our Division of Culture and the Arts, for his NCAA bracket picks. Then he disappeared...

Blog Posts in "Food History"

Beer bug with a chubby middle and large handle. It is brown/tan in color. In white, an Aztec head illustration/cartoon and block letters K C O R.
Embarking on a research trip is always an exciting time for a historian, but this trip is especially important to me because it's the...
During the "Innovative Lives" event, curator Peter Liebhold (left) interviewed scientists Mary-Dell Chilton (center) and Robert Fraley (right).
The fall of 2016 was an important milestone in the history of agriculture—the 20-year anniversary of the first large-scale harvest of a...
A color portrait of a woman in a coral shirt and dark blazer. She sits outside.
Last summer, the National Museum of American History announced that we were hiring a brewing historian to join the team working...
This October 9, 1944, advertisement for Whitman's chocolate boxes shows a woman embracing a soldier in uniform kissing her cheek. On the bottom right is a box of Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler. The bold font reads, “A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS THE MAN WHO REMEMBERS,” and, “BUY MORE WAR BONDS.” In fine print below the box of chocolates reads, “If you can’t always get your favorite Sampler, remember it’s because millions of pounds of Whitman’s Chocolates are going to all our fighting fronts.”
Our blog covered a cornucopia of food history topics in 2016, but a few dishes rose to the top. Here are ten of our most-read blog posts of...
A cubed machine that is beige and brown in color. It has a switch near its base and a plug. Some features protrude from it, including a white piece on the top that has slats in it.
One of our favorite food history collecting trips over the last year started with a predicament we are all familiar with—the frustration of...
A lithograph of a recipe for cheese and onion pie. The instructions are written in a calligraphic style and look more like a story than a recipe. There are illustrations of onions on the page with the text.
For this year's Smithsonian Food History Weekend, we're exploring the theme of "Politics on Your Plate," how people, collectively and...
A sign about Eggs. It says "give eggs a break!" at the top and has an illustration of an egg man that looks sort of evil in the middle. Someone threw a cookbook at his head and broke it but he didn't seem to notice.
In the postwar, pre-digital age, a long road trip often ended with piles of paper—maps, brochures, menus, postcards, scribbled notes,...
This October 9, 1944, advertisement for Whitman's chocolate boxes shows a woman embracing a soldier in uniform kissing her cheek. On the bottom right is a box of Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler. The bold font reads, “A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS THE MAN WHO REMEMBERS,” and, “BUY MORE WAR BONDS.” In fine print below the box of chocolates reads, “If you can’t always get your favorite Sampler, remember it’s because millions of pounds of Whitman’s Chocolates are going to all our fighting fronts.”
"Do you like chocolate?" That's one of the first questions I ask museum visitors during a chocolate program I lead in the museum's Wallace...
The cover of a cookbook entitled "cooking with COLD." It is emerald green with an abstract illustration of a woman standing in front of a fridge, holding an ice cream cone, with two more in front of her and a jug.
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project explores "everyday things that changed everything." One innovation that definitely...
Photo of a kitchen with light blue cabinets, a large rectangular dining table with marigold tablecloth, and lots of pots and pans.
Today we reflect on the legacy of Chef Michel Richard, who delighted generations of Washington, D.C., diners with his innovative and...
Julia Child and Pat Pratt in the kitchen in Cambridge, 1998. Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer.
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...
Beer tray, about 1905, National Museum of American History
This spring, the museum announced a new initiative to collect, document, and preserve the history of brewing, brewers, and the beer...
Copper chocolate pot, 1740s–1760s
Hearing that Forrest Mars Jr. had passed away on July 26, 2016, put me in a sad but reflective mood. One of the giants of the chocolate...
A beer comb which looks like a tongue depressor with an elaborate handle that is a black vine-like design
A tall head sits upon a lively body. An inviting aroma wafts forward. In a moment, the rising head is lopped off.Your bartender pours beer...
Two women on stage, one in green and one in dark grey
The National Museum of American History hosted U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor in a discussion on...
For the third installment of our Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project potluck series, we embraced 1950s cooking. We found...
Black and white photo: Two men in wine field with mountains in background.
American wine aficionados know the Judgment of Paris or Paris Tasting as the transformative tasting held in Paris on May 24, 1976, where 12...
Cover of "Recipes for Today" cookbook, with an illustration of a woman wearing a read and white dress and carrying a large bowl of soup
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project team had a variety of reactions, taste-wise, to the 1930s recipes that...
Photograph of Wonderlier Tupperware set, 1954
For Women's History Month, we're taking a look at some of the ways that American women have made their place in the marketplace by...
Woman faces camera and smiles. She is wearing a small microphone. Standing in a kitchen/stage. Avocado on counter top. Cabinets behind her.
From the 2012 opening of the exhibition FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000 to the most recent inaugural Smithsonian...
Small television with handle and turquoise frame around screen, which is slightly curved
For Super Bowl 50, we're sharing some 1960s objects from the museum's collections to add a little retro flare to any game watching party...
1700s copper chocolate pot
With an intense snow storm bearing down on the mid-Atlantic, we're looking to history and our collections to inspire us about how to eat,...
Color photo of 18 ounce Tabasco bottle
We don't just blog about food here at the museum. We celebrate it in our demonstration kitchen programs and our multiday Smithsonian Food...
One man and two women standing in an office with wooden cabinets, desk, and white walls
Curator and FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000 exhibition project director Paula Johnson recalls a memorable visit...
Small brown puppet with big white eyes, photo
Does this puppet look familiar? Remind you of anyone you know? Does he bear a striking resemblance to a famous frog? This is one of Jim...
Photo of pumpkin surrounded by green leaves
Thanksgiving meals have come a long way since the first shared feast back at Plymouth Colony in 1621. While our reasons for gathering today...
1930s potluck spread
The members of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project team have been poring over authentic period cookbooks as research...
1930s General Electric Monitor Top refrigerator
Electric refrigeration motivated Americans to rethink how they purchased, prepared, and stored food when it first took off in the 1930s....
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."...
Lobster on a plate
Our American Food History Project recently introduced Food Fridays, a new cooking demonstration series on the Wallace H...
Orange juice cans
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project is a new interactive learning space opening on July 1. Here, we're highlighting...
Kubla Khan Chicken Chop Suey
In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, archivist Cathy Keen explores how a Chinese-American entrepreneur helped introduce new...
Supermarket sushi bar
Our upcoming American History After Hours event on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, is all about the history of sushi in America, a story...
Victorian trade card advertising Tabasco sauce, 1900
Object Project new media assistant Caitlin Kearney explores the history behind how American soldiers have used Tabasco sauce to spice...
1920s icebox
If you haven't done your spring cleaning yet, think about starting with the fridge. Thanks to electric refrigeration, we're able to store...
Photo of Pat Murphy's Chicken House by Ansel Adams
In getting ready for our next American History After Hours event, we've been looking at the history behind America's love of...
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...
Peter Pan brand by the Northwest District Fruit Sales Company Inc. of Wenatchee, Washington
125 years ago this November (November 11, 1889, to be exact), President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation admitting Washington as the...
Suzy Homemaker children's toy from 1950s-1960s, turquoise, with fake food inside
It was like Christmas morning in 1968 when our Suzy Homemaker toy refrigerator arrived at the museum (new in box, with original staples!)....
Julia Child's home kitchen, with its hundreds of tools, appliances, and furnishings
From the 2012 opening of the exhibition FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000 to its upcoming FOOD in the Garden...
This September, we join Smithsonian Gardens in hosting our annual FOOD in the Garden series. We'll explore four maritime regions impacted...
A group of chefs in the kitchen
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...
Packaging designer Walter Landor once said, "Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." One of the most iconic...
If you're offended by that first pun, the rest of this post about our high sodium "Conference on Stuff" by Curator Katherine Ott may rub...
Percy Medicine, 1996-1999. "For the relief of diarrhea, sour stomach, acid indigestion, heartburn, and upset stomach associated with overindulgence of food and drink." Orange packaging with a child's face.
On this first day of 2014, many of us will be looking forward to the New Year. Others will just be looking forward to recovering from the...
Empty bakery, black and white photo, with bread and bread slicing machines
The "home of sliced bread" welcomes its bread-slicing machine back, thanks to a loan from our museum. Development intern Christina Ross...
In her non-fiction exploration of the Chinese food industry in America, Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Jennifer 8. Lee finds a mystery in...
Young female intern with the remnants of a crab feast, including containers of butter, napkins, crabs, in an outdoor setting
"If you can't eat that, then you ain't hungry!" These are the words I heard from my internship supervisor (in a Maryland accent, mind you)...

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