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History Explorer Results (25)
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Resource Type(s):
Artifacts
Date Posted:
4/25/2018
Custom-made in 1989 by the Minneapolis, Minn., firm of Knut-Koupee Enterprises, this Yellow-cloud electric guitar was designed and used by Prince. The musician's distinctive personal symbol adorns both the top and the side of the fingerboard. Custom work for famous instrumentalists and musicians
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Reference Materials
Date Posted:
3/23/2018
James Smithson might be surprised to learn about some of the objects in the collections at the institution he established. The Englishman bequeathed his fortune to found "at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge a
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Lessons & Activities
Date Posted:
2/15/2017
Working with a teacher, students will recreate some of the electrical experiments originally performed by Benjamin Franklin between 1746 and 1754. These hands-on experiments highlight Franklin’s innovative contributions to science and government. Visitors will experience static electricity and
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts
Date Posted:
4/7/2016
Invention rarely stops when the inventor introduces a new device. Thomas A. Edison and his team worked to improve his electric lighting system for some years after the initial introduction in 1880. This lamp shows the changes made after six years of labor aimed at lowering costs and increasing pr
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts
Date Posted:
4/4/2016
Most incandescent lamps were designed for general use in homes and businesses. However, some required special features for use in particular locations. Westinghouse engineers designed this so-called mill lamp for use in factories and other areas subject to high levels of vibration. An intricate i
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts
Date Posted:
9/17/2015
Alfred Vail made this key, believed to be from the first Baltimore-Washington telegraph line, as an improvement on Samuel Morse's original transmitter. Vail helped Morse develop a practical system for sending and receiving coded electrical signals over a wire, which was successfully demonstrated
Grade Range:
6-12
Resource Type(s):
Reference Materials, Interactives & Media
Duration:
5 minutes
Date Posted:
6/30/2014
Although we might think of fax machines as a relatively recent (if somewhat dated) technology, this episode uncovers the surprising history of the wireless fax machine. Host Tory Altman speaks with Hal Wallace, associate curator of the museum's electricity collection, about this 1930s device that
Grade Range:
3-6
Resource Type(s):
Lessons & Activities
Duration:
25 minutes
Date Posted:
9/4/2012
Thomas Edison changed our world with electric lights and an entire system that produced and delivered electrical power. Try your hand at making your own light bulb. This activity from Spark!Lab includes step-by-step directions, a printable chart to record the experiment, and discussion questions.
Grade Range:
6-12
Resource Type(s):
Interactives & Media
Duration:
4 minutes
Date Posted:
3/23/2012
Meet Steven Turner, curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, as he discusses the Smithsonian's scientific instrument collection. This video focuses on the history of acoustics during the 18th and 19th centuries, including demonstrations of wave models, tuning forks, siren
Grade Range:
K-12
Resource Type(s):
Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted:
2/2/2012
Thomas Edison used this carbon-filament bulb in the first public demonstration of his most famous invention, the first practical electric incandescent lamp, which took place at his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory on New Year's Eve, 1879. As the quintessential American inventor-hero,
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