A civil rights protest often invokes the vivid images of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, but the fight for racial equality took many...
"They're swingin' everything else—why not nursery rhymes?" stated Ella Fitzgerald while dancing around the room showcasing some new dance...
Smithsonian Jazz Intern Jake Huss shares the stories behind the selections heard at the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra's holiday...

Blog Posts in "Business History"

The National Museum of American History has a staggering 1.8 million objects in the collections. It isn’t possible for one person to know...
These are our most fascinating blog posts of 2018, according to our readers.When FBI agents showed up with a pair of sparkly, red shoesA...
White celluloid collar on black background
Men’s celluloid collar, 1900sAt first glance, this collar from the 1800s might not look like much. A closer inspection shows that this...
Grace Hopper examines a computer at work.
On December 7, 1941, two days before her 35th birthday, Grace Murray Hopper, an associate professor of mathematics at Vassar College, was...
A book of poetry
Curators at the National Museum of American History often rely on scholars in the field to illuminate new areas of collection and research...
Shirtwaist made by Fisk, Clark & Flagg, about 1910.Shirtwaists, tailored blouses of the 1890s and early 1900s, became especially...
"Green Egg" GPS Receiver
"Information is your new crop!" proclaimed John Deere's brochure, announcing the company's newly launched GreenStar Precision Farming...
The top of a green wine bottle.
Congress passed the National Prohibition Act in January 1919, and a year later, Americans were barred from making, transporting, selling,...
Production drawings from Steamboat Willie show Mickey Mouse pulling on a string, tumbling on a bar of soap, and a wheel
It is hard to believe, but Mickey Mouse is celebrating his 90th birthday this year. For an old mouse, he still looks pretty spry! One of...
If you were rich and powerful, from the late 1500s on into the late 1700s, you would show off your wealth by adorning your fashionable...
A white doily with blue embroidery.
Embroidery by the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework is beautiful . . . but that's just the beginning of the story. These...
A blue robotic arm
A visitor to Kenneth Salisbury's Stanford University office can't miss the evidence of his life-long fascination with hands.Kenneth...
Did that title grab your attention? Great.Happy National Beer Day! When you open your fridge shortly after five o'clock this evening (or...
A woman with styled hair leans out a window.
In my first week as a curator at the National Museum of American History, I made a list of women I wished were present in the museum's...
A white debutante gown with an empire waste and fabric flowers around the neckline.
"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...
A grey skirt suit, with a bolero jacket and a black belt.
What was life like for women in the workforce over the past 150 years? To help answer that question, I turned to the museum’s...
A red tractor
2018 is the Year of the Tractor at the museum. Curator Peter Liebhold explored gems of the museum's tractor collection and what they can...
Two lightbulbs, the bulb on the left has a blue cast
People tend to be creatures of habit. That tendency often shows up when we’re faced with an odd-looking new technology that replaces...
An image of a violet fraternal collar--opulently decorated with golden embroidery and a hand painted eye
Artists have long been major players in American philanthropy. If that surprises you to learn, you might be further surprised to learn that...
A scientific device sits against a black background. A thick shield of glass obscures the details of the device. It sits on a silver pedestal.
Twenty years before the start of World War I, a new "light" that could pass through a human body revealing its underlying structures caused...
Three books showing different dyes, as well as viles of organic matter.
Valentine is a name not just for a saint, but also for a fabric dyer! I gingerly lifted a stiff cardboard case out of its cold, gray...
Plaster Figures from America on the Move
America on the Move has been open to the public since 2003 and remains one of the museum's most popular exhibitions, particularly for...
Gold coin marked 1838 decorated with stars and the profile of Liberty's head. Liberty wears a head-band that reads "Liberty."
This year marks the 170th anniversary of the California Gold rush! On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill...
Collage of images taken from various blog posts, from photos of gowns to a portrait of a soldier in World War 1
2017 was another incredible year on the museum’s blog. More than a few of our most-read posts focused on how the museum continues to grow...
Photo of Oscar the Grouch puppet (green with big eyes, scraggly fur) popping out of an aluminum garbage can
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An old bottle of soap
According to a recent report by Mintel, a marketing research agency, few millennials use bar soap. Don't be alarmed, though. They...
Family members gather around a Thanksgiving table and smile.
Like many homes across America, in my home Thanksgiving meant turkey. Lots of turkeys. Five or six turkeys. The day before Thanksgiving, my...
Photograph of the opening of the New York City subway system. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.
William Steinway's diary resides in the National Museum of American History's Archives Center as part of the Steinway and Sons...
Commemorative ribbon decorated with a golden eagle, the U.S. flag, and a circular seal depicting Columbus’s arrival in the New World, complete with the text “Landing of Columbus.” At the bottom of the ribon is the following text: National Public School
Since October 1892, countless schoolchildren across the nation have begun their school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a daily...
Selena laughs and holds a Coke. She wears a silver vest, white t-shirt, and black pants.
[[{"fid":"24536","view_mode":"large","fields":{"alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Selena laughing in black denim...
On the left there is a box with bright green and red packaging. On the right there are two vials with the same red and green packaging as the box.
Antibodies are always looking out for us, and this week we're taking a closer look at them. This is the fourth post in our Antibodies Week...
A folded white cloth napkin with writing on it. The notes and graph demonstrate Laffer's theory of supply side economics.
Every museum curator searches for that incredible iconic object, a fabulous artifact that is both physically interesting and represents a...
A dark-haired woman in a gold hat and top holds up a bottle of Coca Cola and smiles. There is a dark border created by the visible film strip around the photograph.
From the 1950s to 1970s, U.S. advertising started to shift from mass marketing to recognizing and defining distinct target markets. A...
Color photo of two women in a kitchen surrounded by cookbooks, rosemary plants, dishes, plates, and more. One is holding a pan or pot and peering into it, while the other, by her side, does something that is hard to see due to a rosemary plant.
On the 105th anniversary of Julia Child's birth (August 15, 1912), the museum's food history team is thinking anew about Julia's life and...
Against a blank white background, a white corduroy jacket with with an insignia on the left breast and stitching on the right
High school can be a challenging time for teens. Much as they do today, young men and women throughout the 20th century wrestled with...
Beer bug with a chubby middle and large handle. It is brown/tan in color. In white, an Aztec head illustration/cartoon and block letters K C O R.
Embarking on a research trip is always an exciting time for a historian, but this trip is especially important to me because it's the...
Still from a black and white movie. Movie poster in background. A young, nicely dressed African American woman and man stand together, smiling.
The Reverend Harold Mose Anderson was always fascinated by the movies. Anderson saved his money and bought a home movie camera from a...
During the "Innovative Lives" event, curator Peter Liebhold (left) interviewed scientists Mary-Dell Chilton (center) and Robert Fraley (right).
The fall of 2016 was an important milestone in the history of agriculture—the 20-year anniversary of the first large-scale harvest of a...
A color portrait of a woman in a coral shirt and dark blazer. She sits outside.
Last summer, the National Museum of American History announced that we were hiring a brewing historian to join the team working...
A portrait of a man sitting behind a curtain drawn partially back to show a church spire. His hair and moustache are unkempt and he looks directly at the viewer, his head seeming to hang low.
I was exploring storage one day with Larry Bird, emeritus curator in the museum's Division of Political History, when a very curious self-...
Sara Sunshine’s Clio Award, 1987
Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related...
Portrait of Marjorie Stewart Joyner
Born in 1896 in the tiny Appalachian hamlet of Monterey, Virginia, Marjorie Stewart grew up in extreme poverty. Of her 12 brothers and...
Wizard of Oz, 1900
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Picture of Harold Cotton, Hat Blocker by Harvey Wang. Harold Cotton cleans a fedora with a brush. A group of hat blocks sit in the foreground, and Cotton's diploma hangs on the wall behind him.
At 15 years old, Harold Cotton tucked his shoe shine box under his arm and walked to Jefferson Square in downtown Greensboro, North...
Cover of Mining Journal, 1897
Update: The project to transcribe our 1897 mining journal is now complete! Over 50 digital volunteers from 15 different countries...
Photograph of the Tucker sedan on display on the museum floor
Given an opportunity to suggest a landmark artifact outside the entrance to American Enterprise, the museum's new business history...
Copper chocolate pot, 1740s–1760s
Hearing that Forrest Mars Jr. had passed away on July 26, 2016, put me in a sad but reflective mood. One of the giants of the chocolate...
a green square board with a number of small pes attached by screen to a roller contraption with a handle on which lace is stretched
Walking down a street in Chicago in 1901, Sylvester G. Lewis saw a large group of women enthralled with a lady making lace in a window...

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