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’s watercolor view Justicia, Granada shows the Alhambra’s Gate of Justice (Puerta de la Justicia) painted during the artist’s 1881 visit to Spain. In a letter to Sylvester R. Koehler, later Curator of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian, Ferris, deeply moved by his experiences, observed: “‘See the Alhambra and die’ seems a very appropriate expression. I feel it and have more reverence for the Arabs [sic] art than any other school.”
- Today the Gate of Justice is the main entrance to the Alhambra complex, which was completed by the Moors in the fourteenth century. The Spanish, who defeated the Moors in 1492, made later additions.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- graphic artist
- Ferris, Stephen James
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center