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.
- From board tracks to the Indianapolis 500, auto racing in the 1920s attracted national and international attention. Harry Miller's handcrafted race cars were the most sought-after entries because of their exquisite mechanical designs, outstanding performance, speed records, and sleek, aerodynamic beauty.
- By 1926, as speeds increased, Indy authorities had reduced engine displacement to 91 cubic inches. Miller compensated by adding a supercharger and perfecting front-wheel drive, eliminating the drive shaft and lowering the car's profile. But a ban on superchargers and the onset of the Depression ended Miller's dominance. This car, one of two in existence, captures Miller's mastery at its peak.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Hepburn, Ralph
- Duray, Leon
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center