The Museum's superb military collections document the history of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States. The collections include ordnance, firearms, and swords; uniforms and insignia; national and military flags and banners; and many other objects.
The strength of the collections lies in their enormous depth. Some 3,000 military small arms and 2,400 civilian firearms document the mechanical and technological history of the infantryman's weapons from the beginning of the gunpowder era to the present. Among the 4,000 swords and knives in the collection are many spectacular presentation pieces. The collections also include Civil War era telegraph equipment, home front artifacts from both world wars, early computers such as ENIAC, Whirlwind, and Sage, and materials carried at antiwar demonstrations.
"Military - Overview" showing 1 items.
- During the period of North American colonization and early settlement, sloops formed the backbone of the trade along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and to the West Indies. They often sailed as smugglers and warships, too. This armed example from the late 1760s, with oars to maneuver in calms, is similar to craft used by Caribbean pirates a century earlier.
- Little coastal sloops were the tractor-trailers of the colonial period, populating the waters along the eastern coast of North America right down to the Caribbean islands. Heavily built for bad weather and rough sea conditions, they were simple to sail, roomy for lots of cargo and passengers, easily handled by small crews, relatively swift, and usually armed for self defense wherever they might sail. They were also simple to build and inexpensive, so that if one were lost, it might not cause a crippling financial loss to its owners.
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- Arthur G. Henning Inc.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center