Smithsonian Part 2: American History, Wars, Inventions and Random Artifacts

Time for part 2 of this weekends excursion.  while at the American History Museum, I explored three more exhibits.  The first was Gunboat Philadelphia. This boat was built in 1776 and used against the British troops in the Revolutionary war.  The Philadelphia was sunk during battle and remained underwater in Lake Champlain until 1935 when it was recovered.  It was dark in the exhibit so I didn’t get any good photos of the boat itself, but it seemed to be in incredible condition.

They had some other artifacts, including pieces of an old military rifle.  Below is everything they found, laid out to show what the gun looked like whole.  I did my best to link the photos together.  I think that there is something so cool about old firearms.


Gun Collage

  The next stop was actually in the hallway.  They had a bunch of mini-collections with topics including turn of the century store front signs, colonial china, surgical tools and memorabilia from Celia Cruz. 

The china had an interesting backstory.  Each item represented a different state and had an historical scene depicted upon it.  There were five us attending the museum together and we were each from a different state including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.  And wouldn’t you know, they had a dish from each of our states! We are all so historically significant.  Smile 

Another favorite is in the center of the collage below.  It was a chair that could be converted into a table just by pulling the back down.  Isn’t that neat?  Impromptu guest? Lets just make another table.  No company? You have a throne-like chair that fits comfortable against the wall, out of the way.

Hall Exhibit Collage

The final exhibit featured inventions.  At this point, I was more taken with looking at all the gadgets than reading the descriptions.  Here were some highlights:

An array of meters, batteries and generators.

Inventions 1 Collage

Original patents issued to Thomas Edison.  I found this particularly interesting because my dad was recently issued a patent for a medical device he invented with his colleague.  He has a spot right next to Edison Smile. The top right picture shows an area of New York that he illuminated to market his new new light bulb. 

Inventions 2 Collage

Some more things from Edison.

Invention 3 Collage

And finally, something food related (you had to know that was coming).  The evolution of the toaster! There were so many different models.  And what is interesting, is that the design for the modern day toaster was made around 1935.  The one on display looked like a cousin of the one I have right at home. 

Inventions 4 Collage


And that about sums of the American History Museum.  There were a few other exhibits that we did not get to, and it looks like they are adding a great deal more.  On the map, each floor had a large section that was scheduled to open in 2015.  I’m curious to see what they will feature in the future. 

American History

What exhibit would you want to see at the American History Museum?


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