Tools of communication have transformed American society time and again over the past two centuries. The Museum has preserved many instruments of these changes, from printing presses to personal digital assistants.
The collections include hundreds of artifacts from the printing trade and related fields, including papermaking equipment, wood and metal type collections, bookbinding tools, and typesetting machines. Benjamin Franklin is said to have used one of the printing presses in the collection in 1726.
More than 7,000 objects chart the evolution of electronic communications, including the original telegraph of Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell's early telephones. Radios, televisions, tape recorders, and the tools of the computer age are part of the collections, along with wireless phones and a satellite tracking system.
"Communications - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Stephen Ferris made this pencil sketch of a distinguished, pensive older man he called the “Curator of the Alhambra” during his two-month stay in Granada, Spain, in 1881. A watercolor in the NMAH Ferris Collection of an almost identical gentleman is identified as the “Keeper of the Tore de la Vela,” the watchtower of the fortified citadel in the Alhambra complex. While Ferris, a portrait artist, was exploring the wonders of the Alhambra, he was also busy sketching people he met.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- original artist
- Ferris, Stephen James
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center