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Division of Work and Industry

The division brings together collections in the history of technology, work, business, communications, food, energy, agriculture, numismatics, and visual cultures. The division cares for collections that originated in the 19th century and include the earliest known objects and images in the Smithsonian’s holdings. Researchers can find national treasures and the remnants of everyday activities. Curators are actively collecting in contemporary areas of interest spanning agriculture, automation, business, communications, energy production, food and brewing, photography, prints, and work.

Ship Plans

Vineyard Sound Boat

Vineyard Sound Boat
Detail of Ship Plan ASSC-62


The division’s agriculture and natural resources collections focus on agricultural machinery and farm life; food processing technology and food packaging; mining (especially coal mining - archival and photographic collections); fisheries, including whaling; and miscellaneous industrial machinery and products, including buttons, shoes, and brass working.


The division maintains the following exhibitions in the museum. These exhibitions are located on 1 East, by the John Bull Locomotive landmark object:


Collections Specialist, National Numismatic Collection
Curator of the printing and graphic arts collections
Acquisitions Support Specialist, National Numismatic Collection
Curator of the National Numismatic Collection
Curator Emeritus
Chair and Curator
Museum Specialist, Numismatics

Veronica Mendez-Johnson

Curatorial Assistant
David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy
Collections Manager, Photo History and Graphic Arts
Merrill Family Secretarial Scholar

James Smailes

Ship Plans Manager
Collections Manager, Work & Industry
Curator of Asian Pacific American History
Project Historian
Collections Specialist, Work & Industry and Numismatics
Curator Emerita
Senior Collections Manager, Work and Industry