This Museum's popular entertainment collections hold some of the Smithsonian's most beloved artifacts. The ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz reside here, along with the Muppet character Kermit the Frog, and props from popular television series such as M*A*S*H and All in the Family. But as in many of the Museum's collections, the best-known objects are a small part of the story.
The collection also encompasses many other artifacts of 19th- and 20th-century commercial theater, film, radio, and TV—some 50,000 sound recordings dating back to 1903; posters, publicity stills, and programs from films and performances; puppets; numerous items from World's Fairs from 1851 to 1992; and audiovisual materials on Groucho Marx, to name only a few.
"Popular Entertainment - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Launched in 1952, the SS United States was sleek and modern, with a décor to match. In contrast to the opulent Victorian interiors of earlier ocean liners, the United States’ cabins were decorated with aluminum, glass, plastic, and synthetic textiles. This simple glass ash tray featuring the U.S. Lines eagle logo reflects the ship’s modern aesthetic.
- Smoking was permitted and accommodated aboard the United States. Passengers were provided special spaces and lounges in which to relax and socialize. Areas like the Cabin Class Smoking Room, with its curved walls, comfortable chairs, and bar, gave passengers traveling in second class a place to meet, mingle, and smoke while aboard the ship.
- A 1950s menu of tobacco products available on the ship reveals a wide selection of cigars and cigarettes, ranging from American, Egyptian, and Turkish cigarettes to imported Cabana cigars and pipe and chewing tobacco. In the 1950s packs of 20 Camel, Lucky Strike, and Marlboro cigarettes sold for 20 cents each, while cigars could be bought in pairs for 25 to 35 cents. From the same menu, passengers had the option of purchasing playing cards with their tobacco.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- ship launched
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center