From the Collections

A late-19th-century sled fashioned from eight buffalo ribs—as simple, utilitarian and elegant as a Shaker chair—was made by members of South Dakota’s Lakota Sioux tribe.

Was a Native American Actress the Inspiration for the Enigmatic Sled in 'Citizen Kane'?

A sled in the Smithsonian collections just might provide a clue to Hollywood's most celebrated symbol

Lincoln’s original patent model was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1908. This replica was built by the Smithsonian in 1978 for long-term display to preserve the fragile original.

Abraham Lincoln Is the Only President Ever to Have a Patent

In 1849, a future president patented an amazing addition to transportation technology


April Letters

Readers respond to the February Issue

Ray Charles' Ray-Bans, his celebrity trademark, are held in the collections of the National Museum of American History.

Ray Charles' Fusion of Gospel and Blues Changed the Face of American Popular Music

A visionary virtuoso, Charles made brilliance look easy

For Christmas in 1965, astronauts Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr and Thomas P. Stafford played "Jingle Bells" aboard Gemini 6.

The Day Two Astronauts Said They Saw a U.F.O. Wearing a Red Suit

When orbiting pranksters Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford launched into "Jingle Bells," Mission Control almost lost control

The family of Cesar Chavez donated this jacket to the National Museum of American History shortly after the labor leader's death.

When Union Leader Cesar Chavez Organized the Nation's Farmworkers, He Changed History

Cesar Chavez' black nylon satin jacket with the eagle emblem of the United Farm Workers is held in the Smithsonian collections

John Lennon's stamp album, pages 34-35

John Lennon's First Album

A boyhood collection of stamps opens a new page on the teenage Beatle-to-be

Slave hire badges. 
National Museum of American History

Copper Neck Tags Evoke the Experience of American Slaves Hired Out as Part-Time Laborers

From the mid-18th century to the end of the Civil War, owners marketed the labor and skills of their slaves

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