A sudden tragedy thrust Rebecca Lukens into the family business and into history, making her the nation’s first woman industrialist and the...
As a little girl, Jessica Govea had become accustomed to rising early and making her way to the fields with her family. During the cotton...
Maggie Lena Walker was one of the most important Black businesswomen in the nation, and today too few people have heard of her.Maggie Lena...

Blog Posts in "Now on View"

We asked you to vote for your favorite of 8 automotive jewels in the Smithsonian car collection, covering 120 years of history . . . and...
Photograph of exhibition exterior.
Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1939. "Goldfish Gulping," p. I3.It started out with one. One live goldfish, swallowed up by a Harvard freshman...
Richard Avedon photographed president-elect John F. Kennedy and his family fifty years ago on January 3, 1961. The Museum has just opened...
Recently, when asked about my photographs which are featured in William L. Bird, Jr’s book, America’s Doll House: The Miniature World...
During my internship with the Archives Center I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Maid of Cotton Collection. Running...
In black and white photo, a young girl looks at doll house with guidance of an older woman
Meet the Dolls. This miniature family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their 10 children, two visiting grandparents, five servants, and...
Curators use objects to tell a story about an event, a period of history, a person, a group of people, or a movement. Because we have a...
Something wonderful is sprouting at the National Museum of American History. This past week I was introduced to the Victory Garden that is...
An extravagantly appliqued mid-19th century cotton quilt has been placed on exhibit in an artifact wall case on the first floor of the...
The Smithsonian is big. The National Museum of American History is big. Many of our artifacts, like the John Bull locomotive and the Star–...
incunabula… incunabula…incunabula… That is the word that that was proclaimed all around me the first day of my internship. I had no idea...
What do you think of when you see the name “Abraham Lincoln”? Do you think of the Gettysburg Address? How about the Civil War? Do you get a...
The museum continues its commemoration (April 14-26) of the extraordinary life of Abraham Lincoln on the anniversary of his assassination...
That is the question we are asking all week. In collaboration with Ford’s Theatre and President Lincoln’s Cottage, we are choosing one...
This weekend the museum, along with Ford’s Theatre and President Lincoln’s Cottage, continued the commemoration of the...
“Lincoln was such a simple man yet had such a big impact,” reflected museum visitor David Goodman. “It just goes to show you don’t have to...
Science? Not really my thing. It’s not that I don’t appreciate science, I just don’t happen to be blessed with the aptitude for it. This is...
In 1997, a Washington Post article suggested that “For one evening, the inaugural ball gown is the most important dress in the country.”...
One of the perks of working in a museum is being able to commune with objects in the quiet hours of the morning before the doors open to...
Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from working on Stories on Money was the incredible amount of collaboration—internal and...
We’ve always heard that “money talks.” I remembered the phrase while talking with Richard Doty, curator of our numismatics collection...
When curator David Shayt passed away around the time the museum reopened in fall 2008, I inherited one of his many collections. Which...
I was interning at the National Museum of American History when I first encountered the photographic images of Leonard Nadel, who spent...
America is a big place. Kind of a silly thing to say, but think about it: we cover 3,000-odd miles coast to coast, span several time zones...
I’m a bad steampunk. I like pretty things with brass and wood, but I end up injuring myself when I try to build/sew/knit/glue things, with...
Advertising figure made by the National Papier Mache Works of Clinton, Iowa, ca 1900. In the 1958 film Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys...
On April 29th, my colleague, Michelle Delaney and I were pleased to open the exhibition, I Do Solemnly Swear: Photographs of the 2009...
One of the benefits of working in the National Museum of American History is sometimes you run into your own history. The first time I...
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m really excited to see the new movie Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. I love my...
Spring in Washington, D.C., is famous for its bountiful Japanese cherry blossoms; but one thing you may not know is that in the springtime...
When you approach the museum’s Stars and Stripes Cafe, you may hear blood-curdling screams. It’s not the food—really! The museum recently...
During these seemingly endless, frigid days it is easy to pass by the Victory Garden outside of the museum’s Stars &...
If you’ve been to the new exhibition First Ladies at the Smithsonian, you may have found yourself asking: Where are all the other...
2008 was a banner year for the museum. Literally. The creation of a new permanent home for the Star-Spangled Banner—the flag that inspired...
2009 is upon us. The last year has seen major changes. For us here at the museum, being open again is certainly among the largest! As a...
It was in the year 1882 when Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, developed the idea for electric Christmas tree lights. Now, the...
Last Friday we were thrilled to open our new exhibition First Ladies at the Smithsonian. The exhibition tells the history of the First...
I’m lucky enough to have an office near a car from Disneyland’s Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride on display and I often hear the...
Winter can be a dreary time of year in Washington. The city’s trees have shed their orange, gold, and red autumn leaves and the arrival of...
In the few weeks since the museum reopened to the public, I’ve noticed quite a few visitors congregating around one particular piece of...
When friends ask you to view their vacation photos, does it elicit a grin or a groan? Well, we’ve really been enjoying the terrific photos...
Editor's Note: The portrait of Stephen Colbert returned to view at the National Museum of American History on December 16, 2010. The...

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