“Aircraft” cover featuring Catherine E. Draper.
This post was contributed by Chris Cottrill, Head Librarian, National Air and Space Museum Library.
The first years of early 20th century aviation were a time of rapid technological change in aircraft design and experimental flights. They were also years of opportunity for some women, to test the rules of polite society by learning to go aloft in these new “flying machines.” Aviation journals of the day noted that women were interested in aviation in Europe and North America and that some were piloting aircraft up into the sky. Examples of this interest can be seen in the pages of the magazine Aircraft (1910-1915), digitized by the Smithsonian Libraries. Continue reading
Combination Car of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company of New York
Imagine commuting to work on a streetcar like this one! Its open design made it easy to quickly load and off-load passengers, but the disadvantages were quickly felt during rainy weather. This trade catalog by J. G. Brill Co. describes how the patented round corner seat-end panel made open streetcars more pleasant to ride, even on rainy days. Continue reading
In celebration of Black History Month, we would like to highlight five notable African American librarians. This post was written by Anacostia Community Museum librarian, Baasil Wilder.
Five African American Librarians who have made significant contributions to librarianship in America by transforming our profession and paving the way for all races: Continue reading
Peerless Motor Car Co. trade catalog
Cars are part of our everyday lives. For many of us, it would be hard to imagine life without cars. So it’s not surprising to browse the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library and find catalogs by automobile manufacturers. Let’s take a look at one of these catalogs, a catalog describing the 1910 car models for Peerless Motor Car Co. Continue reading
James Whistler was a Victorian dandy. A staunch proponent of “art for art’s sake”, a prominent figure in Victorian society, and while born in America, he divided his time between London and Paris. He advocated the decorative in art to such an extent, that his signature evolved into an apt symbol: the delicate, yet threatening, butterfly with a stinger. Continue reading