Fashion for Hair – A creepiness I like

June 25, 2014

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library owns many types of pattern books for architecture, textiles, wall coverings, and ornament for use by designers. Among our more unusual “how to” pattern books and trade catalogs are two recently digitized hair jewelry pattern books – The jewellers’ book of patterns in hair work and Charles T. Menge’s price list of ornamental hair jewelry and device work.

Hand-Folded Ice Cream Boxes

June 11, 2014

Ice cream is a popular dessert. No doubt about that! It can be found everywhere, especially in the summer, whether at a 4th of July parade, the beach, or in your own backyard. Some of our past posts have featured ice cream recipes. But what about other things related to ice cream? How about ice cream freezers or ice cream containers?

Morale: the Navy’s Trans-Atlantic flight

May 26, 2014

In honor of Memorial Day, we feature this recently digitized book, Morale: the Navy’s Trans-Atlantic flight.

A Squirrel’s Life

May 12, 2014

It’s springtime in DC. That means squirrels are everywhere on the National Mall. Take a walk around the Mall and you are bound to see a squirrel or two run across your path. Sit on a bench for a few minutes and you might hear a rummaging sound and then see a squirrel pop up out of a trash can. And you are sure to see a squirrel or two getting their more »

Philatelic literature at the National Postal Museum Library

May 9, 2014

This post was contributed by Michael O’Connor, contract cataloger. Directly across the street from DC’s Union Station is the spectacular 1914 neoclassical structure that houses the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum (NPM).  Since July of 2013 I have worked as a project cataloger on NPM Library’s Small Journals Project, an effort to catalog thousands of rare periodicals from the 1800s to the present.

1964: Fountains, Fireworks, Fifty Years Ago – a World’s Fair

April 21, 2014

  The Cooper-Hewitt Library has a large collection of over 2,000 World’s fair catalogues and books. Many are the official guidebooks that visitors could purchase with descriptions of pavilions and that helped locate sights and other points of interest. As a teenager, my mother had loved the 1939 World’s fair, so that when it came to New York City again in 1964-65, she wanted to see another World’s fair and have us more »

Eyeglasses and Spectacles of the Past

April 14, 2014

Many of us who wear glasses everyday will probably find ourselves relating to these two sentences. “But take the subject all in all, and consider it in all its phases, it cannot be denied that the invention of spectacles was one of the most useful to the human family.” “Many a man and woman to-day in all quarters of the known world owes the pleasure of existence to the use of scientifically more »

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