Museum Artifacts

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Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
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, cartes-de-visites, cabinet cards, other paper prints, an
Grade Range:
6-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
3/5/2009
This Thai passport was seized in the well-publicized 1995 El Monte, Calif., sweatshop raid. The passport is part of a larger Smithsonian collection of artifacts documenting apparel industry sweatshops, focusing on the El Monte operation (72 workers were discovered working as slaves). With a legit
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
3/5/2009
By the 1700s, samplers depicting alphabets and numerals were worked by young women to learn the basic needlework skills needed to operate the family household.  The earliest dated sampler in the museum's collection was made in 1735 by Lydia Dickman of Boston, Massachusetts.   
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
3/5/2009
This embroidered mourning picture was embroidered in Lititz, Pennsylvania, about 1816, using silk thread, silk chenille, gold spangles, watercolor, and ink on silk fabric. In a gilded wood frame, it measured 25" x 25", and its black mat is reverse-painted on the glass. Mourning designs appear in
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts
Date Posted:
3/5/2009
Spinning wheels are believed to have originated in India between 500 and 1000 A.D. By the 13th century, they were seen in Europe, and were a standard piece of equipment for those making fiber into yarn. By the 17th century they were commonly found in homes in the colonies of North America.
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/19/2009
This homemade costume was made for the Ponce carnival. It has a cape attached at the neck made from the same black and red striped fabric (black and red are the colors of the city of Ponce). Carnival participants who wear costumes like this one, in addition to a mask, and other carnival accoutrem
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/19/2009
Although introduced by Spanish settlers, the island's carnival celebrations, like mask making, music, and public performance, have developed into uniquely Puerto Rican traditions that also reflect the customs and sensibilities of Puerto Ricans' African ancestors. This carnival mask pictured here
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/19/2009
Carnival celebrations featuring performers dressed as devils are found in Puerto Rico and the rest Latin America. The presence of these characters during Carnival is understood by many as an ancient reference to the contest between good and evil. The devilish mask pictured here was made for the
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/19/2009
This elaborate mask, made around 1980, is painted in red and black, the colors of the city of Ponce. Masks like this are typically worn by young men from the neighborhood, who don the costume of a vejigante, a character who roams the streets during Carnival, playfully scaring children an
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/11/2009
Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (1914-1981) lost his first bout with Nazi Germany's champion Max Schmeling in 1936, but the return match was a triumph for America. This towel was thrown in by Schmeling's handlers at Yankee Stadium, New York City, June 22, 1938, where Louis pummeled his oppo
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