Cut-To-Fit Homes

If you were looking for a new home in the summer of 1919, you might have considered a Sterling Cut-To-Fit Home. This 1919 International Mill & Timber Co. trade catalog, Selecting Your Home, describes the Sterling System Homes. These houses came in different styles and sizes–one story, two story, large, and small. The catalog includes page after page of illustrations, floor plans, and descriptions.

Wonder Woman is Suiting Up for a Showdown!

 Who flies an invisible plane, boasts equal parts strength and style, and says “SMITHSONIAN” like no other? Here’s a hint: it’s not Bao Bao the panda. If you guessed Wonder Woman, then you’re one step closer to helping us win the Smithsonian Summer Showdown and walking away with a prize of your own!

Jeremy Deller’s Artists’ Book “After the Gold Rush”

Jeremy Deller (British, 1966-) has been known for his art work that pulls his audience into actively discussing and confronting political, social, and historical issues. His video work English Magic (2012), on view now until August 2014 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is an example of this dynamic. The film was selected for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale as the film served as a representation of British more »

Making Ice Cream in 1889

In June, we highlighted hand-folded ice cream containers. Because July is National Ice Cream Month, we decided to highlight another ice cream related item. This month we are highlighting an 1889 American Machine Co. trade catalog illustrating ice cream freezers.

Surf’s Up in Rare Books

While cataloging Polynesian Researches during a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands (London: 1831-1833; DU510 .E47 1831 SCNHRB), a transfer from the Department of State’s library to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, I was intrigued by the title page vignette in the fourth volume of the set. Depicted in this little engraved scene is a group of surfers riding a break on narrow more »

Gale launches new Smithsonian products

This past week at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, launched two new products based on Smithsonian collections. The products, Trade Literature & the Merchandizing of Industry and World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow, featured many items from the Smithsonian Libraries.

Fashion for Hair – A creepiness I like

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.

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