Monday, October 19, 2009

The National Museum of American History Day One

Today we saw the Smithsonian Castle and the start of the National Museum of American History.

The Smithsonian Castle



The Smithsonian looking out at the back garden.


Walking across the Mall


National Museum of American History



Statue of George Washington.


America on the Move

Peddler’s Cart


John Bull Locomotive, 1831

John Bull, one of the earliest steam locomotives in the United States, was imported from England in 1831 for use on the first rail link between New York and Philadelphia.


Bullboat, 1860

Native peoples along the upper Missouri made small boats like this to travel along the shoreline.


Steam locomotive Jupiter, 1876

Made in Philadelphia in 1876, Jupiter was the Santa Cruz Railroad’s third locomotive. Built for narrow-gauge track (36 inches between rails), Jupiter became obsolete in 1883 when the line switched to standard gauge (56 1/2 inches). Jupiter was sold to Guatemala, where it hauled bananas for more than 60 years.In 1976, it came to Smithsonian as a part of the United States bicentennial exhibition.


Gentleman’s Transportation 1900, Washington, DC


Electric streetcar, 1898

This Capital Traction Company streetcar ran along 7th Street from the wharves at the Potomac River to Boundary Street (now known as Florida Ave.), which at the time was the edge of the City of Washington.


Winston touring car “Vermont” 1903

In 1903, H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker completed the first motor trip across the United States in this car, which Jackson named for his home state. It is displayed with reproductions of supplies and equipment that the men carried. They often used a block and tackle to pull the car out of mudholes. When the Winston needed repairs, they telegraphed the factory for parts and awaited delivery by railroad.

The trip began after a discussion in a San Francisco men’s club as to the feasibility of a transcontinental auto crossing. Jackson decided to give it a try. He purchased a 1903 Winston touring car and headed east. Jackson and Crocker followed trails, rivers, mountain passes, alkali flats, and the Union Pacific Railroad across the West. After 63 days on the road, the expedition reached New York. Jackson had spent $8,000 on his trip, including hotel rooms, gasoline, tires, parts, supplies, food, and the cost of the Winton.


Ps-4 class steam locomotive No. 1401, 1926

No. 1401 is one of 64 locomotives of its class that ran on the Southern Railway from the mid-1920’s until the early 1950s. A flagship locomotive of “the Southern,” the 1401 rolled on the Charlotte Division, between Greenville, South Carolina, and Salisbury, North Carolina. It pulled passenger trains at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. In April of 1945, the 1401 pulled President Franklin Rossevelt’s furneral train on part of its journey to Washington, DC. Retired in 1952, the 1401 came to the Smithsonian in 1961.


Ford Country Squire station wagon, 1955

In the 1950’s, U.S. station-wagon production rose from less than 3 percent to almost 17 percent of the total number of cars built. The station wagon became a symbol of postwar suburban life.


Thomas Edison exhibit

This is one small part of the exhibit for Thomas Edison. This is the Patent for the Telephone. “… Now therefore these Letters Patent are to grant unto the said Tomas A. Edison, his heirs or assigns for the term of 17 years from the seventeenth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two the exclusive right to make, use and vend the said invention throughout the United States and the Territories thereof. …”


Fire Hats, Pennsylvania, 1800s

Philadelphia-style fire hats such as these were standard wear for firemen in mid-Atlantic cities from the 1790s to the mid-1800s.


These are just a representative of this museum . We ran out of time and will resume this museum tomorrow. One museum half done only 16 more to go and 7 more days.

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