Staying cool for a 19th Century picnic

*+-Today, many of us are probably familiar with insulated bags that help keep food cold, or even warm, until you get to your destination. But did you know there was a picnic basket in the nineteenth century that did something similar?

Vintage Fireworks for the Fourth

*+-This post was written by Adrian Vaagenes, intern in the National Museum of American History Library. The 4th of July is upon us, and for many of us this means, to borrow a quote from The Simpsons, it’s “time to celebrate the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it”. Just as we enjoy lighting roman candles, sparklers, cherry bombs, and m-80’s, these pieces of trade literature in more »

Cool off with Soda Fountains from the Past

*+-Summer has just arrived and the heat is starting to turn up, making it the perfect time for ice cream. Imagine yourself in 1904. You just met some friends for ice cream at a soda fountain. What would you have seen? Ice cream and drinks, of course. But what about the dishes, furniture, and even the tools to make some of those treats?

Durable Pianos

*+-“It shows no signs whatever of the rough handling that it has received at the hands of our pupils who have used it continuously for practicing and evening amusement.” That was how J. W. Hill, M.D. described the durability of the piano purchased for Bishop Scott Academy in Portland, Oregon.

Planting a Nineteenth Century Garden

*+-Now that Spring has finally arrived, warmer weather is hopefully here to stay. Flowers are beginning to emerge making it the perfect time to sit outside in the garden enjoying the outdoors. Perhaps you are wondering what to plant in your garden. How about a flower with a vibrant color? Or maybe one with a softer look? April is National Garden Month and a perfect time to highlight some of the options.

A Nineteenth Century Adventure

*+-Are you dreaming of warmer weather? Thinking of summer vacation? Well, imagine living in the year 1897 and the time has come to choose your next vacation. Will it be a summer resort in the US or a trip across the Atlantic?

Tricks and Puzzles from the Trade Literature Collection

*+-The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes catalogs of almost any product, but did you know there is even a catalog with games and puzzles to play at a dinner party?

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