Sports & Leisure
The nation's passion for sports is obvious every day—at NASCAR races, kiddie soccer matches, and countless other contests. From a handball used by Abraham Lincoln to Chris Evert's tennis racket to a baseball signed by Jackie Robinson, the roughly 6.000 objects in the Museum's sports collections bear witness to the vital place of sports in the nation's history. Paper sports objects in the collections, such as souvenir programs and baseball cards, number in the hundreds of thousands.
Leisure collections encompass a different range of objects, including camping vehicles and gear, video games, playing cards, sportswear, exercise equipment, and Currier and Ives prints of fishing, hunting, and horseracing. Some 4,000 toys dating from the colonial period to the present are a special strength of the collections.
"Sports & Leisure - Overview" showing 1 items.
- William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. and AAA established America’s first international auto race in 1904. Held annually on Long Island’s public roads, the race was aimed at improving the performance of American automobiles. The trophy, a silver cup made by Tiffany, is inscribed with the winning entries and an image of Vanderbilt in his Mercedes race car. After a spectator fatality in 1906, Vanderbilt constructed the first highway designed for automobiles, the Long Island Motor Parkway, where races resumed in 1908. After more fatalities, the race relocated to Georgia, Wisconsin, and California. Vanderbilt donated the cup to the Smithsonian in 1934.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Tiffany & Co.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center