Museum Artifacts

A listing of selected Museum artifacts that can be used to teach American history using object-based learning techniques. The selected artifacts represent a variety of historical eras and the list will grow over time. Want to suggest a new artifact? Click here to contact us.


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Confederate Officer's Frock Coat

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/22/2010

This is the type of jacket that would have been worn by a Confederate medical officer.


Confederate Officer's Kepi

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/23/2010

The kepi is similar to the forage cap. It was copied from the French officer's hat. The crown could be colored, usually for the branch of service of the wearer. The kepi was shorter than the forage cap, and was not very popular because it did not ...


Copper Pattern Dollar, 1794

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/5/2008

Once a new national government had been established under a new Constitution, attention naturally turned to ways of proclaiming national identity. A new, national coinage was one way of doing so, especially if it featured patriotic new images, rat...


Crayola Crayons

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/10/2010

Cherished by generations of child artists, Crayola crayons were invented in 1903 by the Binney & Smith Company of Easton, Pennsylvania. Using paraffin wax and nontoxic pigments, the company produced a coloring stick that was safe, sturdy, and ...


Creek War Flag

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/22/2010

The Creek War began on August 30, 1813, when a faction of Creek known as the Red Sticks attacked a contingent of 553 American settlers at Lake Tensaw, Alabama, north of Mobile. The British were believed to be a main ally of the Indians. In respons...


CSS Virginia Model

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/23/2010

On April 21, 1861, Virginians claimed an abandoned navy yard at Norfolk, Virginia. There they found the sunken hull of the burned USS Merrimack. The Merrimack was raised and on June 23, 1861 the Honorable S. R. Mallory, Confederate secretary of th...


Cuban Rumba Dress

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/18/2008

This is a Bata Cubana, or Cuban Rumba dress, donated to the Smithsonian by Celia Cruz, the great Cuban salsa singer in 1997. An adaptation of the traditional Cuban rumba dress, it was made in the United States by Cuban-born designer José Ar...


Curling Stone

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/18/2010

Developed in Scotland and played in the northern United States, curling debuted as a medal sport at the 1998 Winter Olympics. This curling stone belonged to 75-year-old curler Rudy Senich, of Duluth, Minn., who has been curling three nights a week...


D Day

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 6/3/2010

Robert Capa (1913 - 1954) documented World War II from the bombing of London to fronts in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He captured this arresting image of American troops landing at Omaha Beach on D-day, June 6, 1944. Capa ...


Daguerreotype of Mary Ann Warren

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 3/5/2009

This beautiful daguerreotype by Boston-area photographer George K. Warren (1832–1884) is of the photographer's wife, Mary Ann Warren. The Photographic History Collection has a collection of letters, scrapbooks, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, ca...

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Featured Artifact

Andrew Jackson's Uniform Coat

Blue wool uniform coat, gold-colored buttons on jacket front and sleeves. Epaulettes and gold trim at neck and cuffs.

This coat adheres to the 1813 uniform...