The museum will be open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 25. Reserve your free timed-entry pass and review our latest visitor safety guidelines.
Note: While history shouldn’t require a spoiler alert, this blog does contain some minor ones regarding the HBO series Watchmen.“You know...
Maybe this painting looks familiar. A long row of red-coated soldiers. A cloud of gun smoke engulfing the street. Falling bodies.Detail of...
The Stonewall uprising began June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid at The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, and has since...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

A pin, presumably for a woman. There is a gold eagle perched on top with its wings outstretched. It stands on top of a red banner saying "Remember" which is over a blue banner that says "Harbor" Between the banners is a pearl.
December 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the Pearl Harbor naval base by the Japanese Imperial Navy. In commemoration...
A photo from the museum of the installed portion of the counter from the Greensboro diner. It includes the countertop, four chairs, and part of the back wall with a mirror on it.
We often remember the civil rights movement as a few iconic events that took place at famous landmarks—the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the...
A graphic, black and white illustration of a stylized man in a top hat and cane pointing to the word "REM" in the sky. It appears to be storming, as trees are blown sideways. It says "Cough?" in the upper lefthand corner
What does it take for an advertisement to capture the attention of a potential consumer?It takes aesthetically pleasing simplicity, vibrant...
Two men in dress uniform stride forward carrying flags, one for the army and one for the navy. The program says "Army-Navy" and "1941 Fifty Cents" on the cover
Growing up the child of a World War II Navy veteran who happened to love football, it was easy to know who to root for in the Army-Navy...
A cubed machine that is beige and brown in color. It has a switch near its base and a plug. Some features protrude from it, including a white piece on the top that has slats in it.
One of our favorite food history collecting trips over the last year started with a predicament we are all familiar with—the frustration of...
An old photograph in sepia tones showing a number of people sitting on stairs outside of a building. Some are women and some are men, many of whom are wearing uniforms.
Wolves, rattlesnakes, floods, fire, and stampedes—these are just some of the many dangers faced by women on the American frontier of the...
A pair of dark leather books that are higher than ankle-length. They lace up the front. They have seen wear, as some of the seams look worn and the soles look like they're coming apart. On the ground in front of the shoes is a notebook. It looks to be made of dark leather and has rings like a modern binder, with pages covered in dark cursive.
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...
Botanical model of Papaver rhoeas, the common poppy, late 19th century, used at the University of Minnesota Pharmacy School.
"And now my beauties, something with poison in it I think, with poison in it, but attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell . . ....
A page from a television script. The paper is beige colored and the text looks like it is from a typewriter and is centered on the page
Watching the television show M*A*S*H is a family tradition in my house. My grandfather introduced the show to my mother and uncle...
A contraption that appears to be made of translucent plastic, silver metal, and some sort of white cloth. It looks a bit like a gyroscope or a toy "top".
In The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man longs for a heart. That's a problem Manuel "Manny" Villafaña has rarely had—he has collected pieces of many...
a 4-wheeled, covered wagon with messages of suffrage and equal rights painted on the side
As a young woman casting my vote in my first presidential election, I came to the museum interested in learning more about the history of...
A print showing a group of men by the ballot box. One man is holding some papers in his hands while the man across from him had his arm raised, appearing to be on the verge of hitting something. The men wear top hats and there is text at the bottom that explains a conflict between voters about who they would want to vote for.
As we near Election Day, political cartoons are inescapable. Satirical cartoons continue a tradition of political printmaking that has been...
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...
Crop of image also used in full post. A little girl with her eyes closed gently touches the webbed foot of the lion. Her facial expression is happy--we see her in silhouette. The lion's poofy made is visible.
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...
A sculpture made from one dollar bill(s). It is complex with interwoven triangles that give it a spiked sort of appearance.
Money is often defined as a medium of exchange, but to some artists money is simply a medium—or set of materials—that they can use to...
Many writers have suggested that L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an allegory for late 19th-century American Populism. (For a...
Early television in wooden piece of furniture
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...
on top of a grey surface, two rows of Pokemon cards are laid out, side by side. There are energy and trainer cards along with cards related to individual Pokemon. Some cards are in Japanese. In the bottom center row is a booklet with instructions for playing the card game.
Every generation comes to define itself by the experiences it shares, whether tragic or blissful. Sometimes, a single entertainment...
A small, black, rectangular plastic device that looks like it could rest in the palm of a hand. In light grey text, it says "iBill" and "RBIT" on the top.
As the curator of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), I collect objects that reflect innovation in money today in order to preserve...
Photo of person standing on chair to escape mouse
For some creepy fun before Halloween, a tour of common phobias through our collections.1. The dark (nyctophobia)Perhaps most pervasive in...
Costume on a faceless manikin includes pointed black hat tied with brown ribbon, white collar, burlap outfit, and hay pieces dangling.
Update: Your support has helped to make this project a reality! Our campaign to raise support to conserve Dorothy's Ruby Slippers and our...
Movie camera in large apparatus with four small wheels.
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...
This October 9, 1944, advertisement for Whitman's chocolate boxes shows a woman embracing a soldier in uniform kissing her cheek. On the bottom right is a box of Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler. The bold font reads, “A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS THE MAN WHO REMEMBERS,” and, “BUY MORE WAR BONDS.” In fine print below the box of chocolates reads, “If you can’t always get your favorite Sampler, remember it’s because millions of pounds of Whitman’s Chocolates are going to all our fighting fronts.”
"Do you like chocolate?" That's one of the first questions I ask museum visitors during a chocolate program I lead in the museum's Wallace...
A piece of tan-colored paper folded in half. One half is lying flat and the other is open facing the camera, like an open mouth. There are geometric drawings on the paper with strings attached. The top says "Relief e" with text below it in French.
If you frequent the object groups of the National Museum of American History online, you may have noticed a recent addition (group link at...
A little girl admires the Ruby Slippers in a display case
At a little past 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2016, you took us somewhere over the rainbow. With over 5,300 backers, our "Keep Them...
Pair of red shoes with sequins with yellow brick background
The Ruby Slippers are among the most famous pairs of shoes in the world. Generations of Americans know them from Dorothy’s journey in the...
Close-up photo of red sequins, cropped to a circle
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...
One of the Ruby Slippers, with a small heel and a beaded bow, covered in sequins, sits under a microscope.
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...
An black and white image of a building surrounded by smoke. People gather around it, many in hats and winter jackets. The full caption at the bottom of the picture reads "The Collinwood School, photographed while the fire still raged"
With the academic year in full swing, schools across the country are beginning their first rounds of fire drills. Remember those? As alarms...
a black and white photograph of a woman in a cream colored dress with a draped skirt, laid on top of pieces of fabric of varied textures and colors
Even before the United States entered the First World War in 1917, procurement officers for the armed forces began to look for sources for...
A group of young women in white, button up, short sleeved shirts stands and kneels for the photograph. In the middle of the back row there is a man with a serious expression. The young woman kneeling in the center is holding a baseball bat.
On February 20, 2016, former Smithsonian fellow Mark Ocegueda, currently a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California,...
Illustration for sheet music that says "Fair Hawaii" at the top in yellow text atop green palm trees. A woman in a lei and grass skirt sits in the center looking at a red, setting sun
In recent years, the ukulele, or jumping (lele) flea (‘uku) in Hawaiian, has received a renewed appeal. I've heard the instrument make...
Black and white illustration of Abraham Lincoln (bust)
As November 8 draws nearer, I have been thinking about what "electability" means for an American president. What makes someone look...
Girls in uniform sit around a table holding their certificates.
Moving to a new city is intimidating, particularly because most of your time is spent stumbling into familiarity. Guidance, trial, and...
Lafayette Escadrille pilot pin
Sunday, September 18, is the 69th birthday of the United States Air Force, which became a separate branch of service as part of the...
An illustration showing a cluster of figures. Neptune rides some sort of chariot pulled by four horse, with sea nymphs surrounding him and a cupid flying in the air. The scene is framed by pink ribbons saying "Neptune Hose Co.  Instituted August 6, 1805 and banners reading "To save out fellows we hazard ourselves"
Our fire engine has a secret message. For a few years now, this hand-pumped engine has been on display on the museum's first floor. For a...
A structure used as a sled. It has metal bars to support the legs and feet and a seat. Two wooden staffs that appear to be shortened hockey sticks are attached to either side.
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...
A handwritten note hastily scrawled on a large rectangular yellow Post-it
In moments of crisis, our first thoughts are usually to get in contact with the people we love. September 11, 2001, was a day when many...
golden sign with red and bold lettering and an eagle holding a paper that says "V-MAIL"
"Oh happy day. Mail at last. Two from Jean and one from Mother. Sure was great to get them." Stationed on the island of Iwo Jima...
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...
A young girl stands behind a cake in a room full of seated children wearing party hats.
While scrolling through Facebook one day, Eunice was struck by a sudden memory. "I had a visceral reaction and thought, 'Oh my God!'" She...
A caricature of Jefferson Davis stands bawling with text, "Jeff, on Harper's Ferry. I should think I might be let alone. Boo-oo-oh"
While processing a collection of Civil War scrapbooks, I was surprised to find imagery that reminded me of today's internet memes. A meme...
Yellow scrap of fabric in a frame. Pencil writing on fabric.
This rectangle of yellow cloth is small, only seven by nine inches, but it tells a much larger story. It begins in January 1917, when the...
an envelope that reads "Morse's American Tele" from an office in Troy, NY. The paper is faded and has cursive writing on it.
During my 22 years in the military, before coming to work in the museum's Archives Center, I trained extensively for the possible...
Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton sits on a mat in a gym circled by children of various ages. She appears to be midsentence answering a question from a youth in front of her.
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...
Silk with a pattern of the Grand Canyon. Bright orange, green, white and reds mimick the crags and dimensions of the famous natural canyon. The pattern goes in every direction to suggest rather than depict the Grand Canyon
Mallinson's Printed Pussywillow—This excellent quality is ideal for blouses, scarfs, and coat linings, offered in a large selection of...
young man wearing a jacket and a kilt seated upon a desk or similar furniture
Oh, sigh! Season two of Outlander (the show in which British World War II field nurse, Claire, slips through time and meets the...

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