"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, recited this oath at...
Now that the 2016 Summer Olympic Games have come to a close, we can look forward to more gold-winning performances from Team USA at the...
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! The Olympics have arrived and it is time for us to send our most brilliant athletes to compete against their...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

Woman leans over table with white covering and flag in many pieces
In our textile conservation lab, the final pieces of a million piece jigsaw puzzle have just been put into place. The "puzzle" in question...
Lobster on a plate
Our American Food History Project recently introduced Food Fridays, a new cooking demonstration series on the Wallace H...
Circular white button with bold, capitalized text saying "I [heart symbol] ADA"
Activist Justin Dart, Jr. called it a "commandment." Some people think of it as a tangle of regulations, standards, and guidelines. Above...
Photo of display case that says "Consumer Era 1940s-1970s" featuring historic objects. One sign on display says "Sorry! Last car in this line."
On July 1, 2015, we will open a new exhibition: American Enterprise, in the Mars Hall of American Business. It is the...
Consul the Educated Monkey, Smithsonian image AHB2015r00132. Gift of Richard Lodish.
Educator Richard Lodish has just given the museum an example of a computing device called Consul the Educated Monkey. This is one of the...
Pick pack in circle shape
It's often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but it can be the father of invention too. Here’s the story of an innovative...
When you combine the right people and a mix of useful resources in a special place, invention and innovation often result. Here at the...
Milling machine with cranks and gears and four feet, table sized
Having worked at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation for seven years, I see invention and innovation...
Photograph of an America Online installation disk, 1990s
On June 11, 2015, we present America Now, a nationwide celebration of America's innovative spirit. As part of the day's festivities,...
9-11 pin showing Twin Towers and Salvation Army badge
On September 11, 2001, many people watched tragedy unfold on television, dismayed that there was little they could do to help. At her...
Textile object with text in white on red, with blue border
In April 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May to be Jewish American Heritage Month. Jewish American objects in our collections...
Carved wooden temporary grave marker of Lieutenant Charles R. Carville
The first appearance of the "battlefield cross" is a matter of conjecture. It might have been during the Civil War, to signify a dead...
Portrait of Caroline Jones at the start of her career as an advertising executive
A fedora, Lucky Strike cigarettes, and a set of cocktail-ready tumblers: all the hallmarks of a 1960s ad agency were on display Thursday...
Musical device with Dolby system
"'I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'"'All right,' said the Cat; and this time it...
Microscope
In the store-rooms of the museum, we recently discovered a small microscope made around 1750. The "I. CUFF Londini Inv. & Fec."...
Painting in vivid colors depicting Lusitania half-sunk, smoke billowing
One hundred years ago on May 7, 1915, the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,195...
Pin with child's face and "I gave my tooth to science"
Who collects baby teeth? Most of us would say "the Tooth Fairy." But in the late 1950s and 1960s, the Tooth Fairy had a competitor in both...
Soldier sits posed in grass with fellow soldiers, wearing uniform and looking at camera
In 1922, four years after her American son was killed in action in World War I, Sallie Maxwell Bennett received a letter from Emil...
Students show off their letters on a bulletin board
My main memory as a fourth grader in 1972-73 was playing "Little Willy" by The Sweet on the classroom's record player while waiting...
Lincoln's hat
April 15 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. Across the country, there will be numerous remembrances and...
Thursday, April 9, marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. In recognition of this...
An early self-portrait of inventor and businessman Robert Cornelius, taken in 1839. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
We often rely on our colleagues who have expertise in specific areas to guide us in our selection of objects for the American Enterprise...
"America" airplane and two men beside it
Ya just never know what you will be offered at the National Museum of American History!A few weeks ago, I accepted a small collection of...
Detail of image: two men with camera and hats
Boston-area photographer George K. Warren, with studios variously in Lowell, Cambridge, and Boston, started as a daguerreotypist in the...
Roy Rogers and Trigger yo-yo, yellow and red
April Fool's! It is not Yo-yo Heritage Month, so we unfortunately will not be sharing yo-yo facts all month. But...
Curator preparing “Abigail” doll for display in the “American Enterprise” exhibition.
A small, 11" cloth doll might seem like an incongruous object for discussing the issues of the American Great Depression. Yet enduring the...
Watercolor image of woman with red flowers
During the 1890s, just about any flat surface in the public eye might be covered with simple, bold, and colorful posters. They advertised...
Baseball players group photo
The year was 1944. A playoff series between two all-star baseball teams generated ample excitement. Gila River fought Heart Mountain...
Jefferson's Bible, open
What was the significance of religion in the early history of the United States? In the summer of 2017, we will open a new exhibition...
Boxing belt with Irish and American symbols
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, staff members have selected four objects that reveal facets of the Irish American experience.Dan Gifford,...
Illustration of an ambulance-style van with a red cross and text: "U.S.A. X-Ray Car No. 4"
In 1897, at the age of 22, Henry Lyman Saÿen's career in scientific instruments seemed to be set. Little did he know that his talents would...
Two women wearing hats in WWI photo
The scream of incoming shells would send French peasant women dashing to their cellars for safety, but then they would pick their...
Campaign badge with a photo of Grant and gold-colored frame
As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Chelsea Hansen has been working with General Ulysses S. Grant's collection of...
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...

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