American Enterprise

What you may not know about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire

One of the most infamous tragedies in American manufacturing history is the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911. Are the details of the story accurately remembered? And what can we still learn from the incident today?

The crop of the 21st century

"Information is your new crop!" Discover how farmers harvested technology and data to change how they worked.

Grape gluts and Mother Clones: Prohibition and American wine

When Prohibition barred Americans from from making and selling intoxicating liquors, discover how winemakers survived (or didn't).

Sewing for joy: Ann Lowe

"I was 17 years old at the time and the dress made me feel so grown up and beautiful," Pauline "Polly" Carver Duxbury wrote about the dress she wore to her 1967 debutante ball. Duxbury’s debutante dress is more than just special to her—it is part of American history because of the person who created it.

Waterloo Boy

In the early 1900s farmers switched from horses to tractors. While much of the world continued to rely on human brawn or draft animals, Americans adopted the new technology of gasoline-powered tractors.
 
The development and use of gasoline-powered tractors in the early 1900s helped change the business of American farming.

2018 is Year of the Tractor at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark 2018 as the Year of the Tractor with two new displays on the past, present and future of agriculture.

Calendar of Events: February 2018

Editor’s Note:
 
All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Program attendees should arrive 30 minutes in advance.

I Pledge Allegiance

Since October 1892, countless schoolchildren across the nation have begun their school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a daily patriotic ritual. Few students, however, could tell you when the tradition began, or even who wrote the words that so many of them have memorized.

Healthy hogs for a healthy nation

On June 19, 1875, William Emerson Baker invited some 2,500 guests to his farm in Needham, Massachusetts, to celebrate the launching of his "sanitary piggery."

Coming of age: Young women and the FFA

High school can be a challenging time for teens. Much as they do today, young men and women throughout the 20th century wrestled with identity, education, and social status during their teenage years. For young women in the 20th century, changes in the way people thought about gender and equality greatly impacted their experience. Documenting those changes for teens is an important aspect of telling a larger story about the changing roles of women in the 20th century. The museum has found an interesting way to tell that story through its agricultural collection. 

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