Sesame Street was an innovative and radical children's television program when it premiered in 1969. In the 1960s, many parents were...
Suffering from "shell shock and a general breakdown," Charles Mackall and James Randall arrived in Philadelphia in September 1918 from...
As our Philanthropy Initiative continues to explore the history of giving, we're eager to share stories of success and failure. This story...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

Six different Square readers, white
As new monetary technologies emerge, how are they changing the way individuals and small businesses make transactions? Collections Manager...
Sheet music cover
On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act that made Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner" the...
Apparatus
February 27, 2015, marks the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the radioactive carbon isotope, carbon-14, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben...
Measles sign
In 1904 C. A. Lindsley, the secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Health, complained that "measles is still prevailing in an epidemic...
Touring Ralph's workshop
I love being around inventors. I love the quality of their imaginations, but most of all, I love the kind of people they are, their...
Etching of Dr. Craver
Several years ago, the museum acquired this striking portrait of Dr. George Washington Carver, the famous African American scientist and...
Valentine card with phone lines
Sending warm and fuzzies to a special someone this Valentine's Day? If you're not able to convey your affections in person, you'll probably...
Illustration of two grebes
Happy National Bird-Feeding Month! While this perhaps escaped your attention as a major milestone on the calendar of holidays and...
Ellipsograph
As a child, you may have played with a simple wooden toy called a "do-nothing" machine or simply a "grinder."As a mathematician, I find...
Coconut bowl
It's that time of year again. The Seattle Seahawks return to the big game on Sunday, this time taking on the New England Patriots, and here...
Side portrait of Bell, blue tinted
The name Alexander Graham Bell has become indelibly tied to the telephone (so much so that I'm surprised we don't call those handheld...
The Battle of Fort Fisher may not sound familiar. However, its little known role in the demise of the Confederacy is movie worthy. Fort...
"There is no subject attracting more attention at the present time among men of science throughout the world, than the newly discovered...
Lightbulb patent
If time-travel were possible and I could pick a moment, I'd choose Menlo Park, New Jersey, for my destination on New Year's Eve in 1879.As...
As we celebrated our 50th anniversary this year, we often gave blog readers a peek behind the scenes. Here are our readers' favorite posts...
Historic denture
From scary-looking dental devices to a highly symbolic stump, there were many Civil War blog posts you loved this year. Here are your...
Staff members in Star-Spangled Banner gallery installing manuscript
Judging from our readers' favorite posts, you love Civil War history, aren't very good singers, and can't wait for Downton Abbey ...
Cover of Rudolph booklet
The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a cultural icon that heralds the Christmas season, was first introduced to the American public...
A museum employee wears glove and holds an Uncle Sam toy
Heather Paisley-Jones is an education specialist and a member of the exhibition team for the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object...
For me, it's almost hard to imagine a holiday season without Coca-Cola. The adorable polar bear commercials, the penguins romantically...
Queen Elizabeth II meets Duke Ellington
Smithsonian Jazz Intern Jake Huss shares the stories behind the selections heard at the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra's holiday...
Detail image of cholera man
Every few years, we read the headlines about a new, or resurgent, disease that threatens global health. Fears of transfer erupt and...
Atari E.T. cartridge in landfill dirt
The video game history collection at the museum has some amazing objects in it that represent big moments in the development of the...
"Health corsets" and ready-to-wear clothing will be a part of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project, opening July...
Ad of Swift's ham and bacon
I used to eat a lot of expired bread back in 2011. I'd just moved from my home in Singapore to Florida for college and had been used to...
Ralph Baer passed away on December 7. The world will remember him as the inventor of the first video game. Here at the Smithsonian, we also...
Tarima and shoes used by Martha Gonzalez in California, 1999
As the Museum gears up to open new exhibitions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, our curators have combed the country, looking for the richest...
When I was in eighth grade, my government teacher gave us a homework assignment that I did not do. The next day, we were told to hand ...
Two documents reveal the high tech significance of merchant and entrepreneur Cyrus W. Field's anniversary party, 124 years ago today....
With the news that the Smithsonian has created the first-ever 3D presidential portrait, Intern Haley Rivero shares a close-up experience...
Cartoon shows a large group of men and women from of various races, ethnicities, and  cultural backgrounds gathered around a table for a meal. At the head of the table, Uncle Sam carves a turkey; the table's center is dominated by the model of a temple with the words "Universal Suffrage."
Thanksgiving is often imagined as a time of gathering and inclusion. We frequently picture our quintessentially American holiday as when we...
Horse hoof cauterized and preserved with a coat of shiny black enamel
In the early morning hours of March 30, 1890, in Washington, D.C., the collision of two horse-drawn fire wagons racing to answer an alarm...
Raccoon hat
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett's coonskin cap. It had previously been on view in Starring North...
Stubby the dog
Veterans Day is a time to commemorate the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the armed forces. However, the service of...
Spitz Junior Planetarium
On November 17 and 18, I'll be in my backyard hoping for clear skies as the Leonid meteor shower lights up the sky. Here in the museum's...
15th century painting depicts hand cannons in action
The 620-year-old solid piece of iron is as heavy as it looks. Examining this brutally simple hand cannon, it's hard to imagine that...
Man with camera in military uniform
Using a camera taken from a German officer who had died in battle, Paul Bland documented his experiences across Normandy, Northern France,...
Peter Pan brand by the Northwest District Fruit Sales Company Inc. of Wenatchee, Washington
125 years ago this November (November 11, 1889, to be exact), President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation admitting Washington as the...
Trying deodorant on arm
Intern Caitlin Kearney follows a 111-year-old deodorant recipe. For history!Over the summer, I've been doing research for a new hands-on...
North Korea is sometimes called The Hermit Kingdom due to the secretive nature of its government and its closed society. I never expected...
Cover of Tetris game
When one thinks of symbols or images of the Cold War, one might say nuclear missiles, Sputnik, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev's shoe...
Small folder with red ribbon on black background
One of the most fascinating objects that came to my attention during my time as a Smithsonian postdoctoral research fellow is a rather...
"When witches go riding,and black cats are seen,the moon laughs and whispers,'tis near Halloween."- Author UnknownFrom the decorations in...
Object Project interns Caitlin Kearney and Kamilah Stinnett explore the origins of packaged candy, a modern convenience that signaled...
LBJ Campaign sticker in the shape of a cowboy hat
Recent news of state and local elected officials stepping up their campaigns for the 2014 November elections brings to mind the fascinating...
The presidential campaign of 1896 was an emotional one—and much of the political maneuvering may look familiar to voters today. A key...
On the right, the motorcycle parked in a driveway with a license plate that reads "Guatemala 1979-1983."
In museums, it's common for a single artifact to tell many diverse stories, far beyond the scope of any one exhibition. Christine Miranda,...
Selena's outfit in the collection
Iconic cultural objects have the power to preserve beloved chapters of history long after they come to a close. As we approach the 20th...

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