Smithsonian@smithsonian

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Smithsonian

Raise your hand if you've seen one of these at #Thanksgiving. 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ Anne L. Bernat received this CorningWare dish, with its signature blue cornflower design, as part of a set for a wedding present in 1967. She used them up until donating this piece to our @amhistorymuseum in 2011.
The CorningWare material was originally designed for military applications, but its ability to withstand sudden changes in temperature made it ideal for the kitchen.
In the 1990s, the company transitioned to ceramic stoneware to accommodate the growing demand for a wider variety of colors and designs, but the original glass-ceramic cookware was reintroduced in 2009 due to popular demand.


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Smithsonian

Walking into Thanksgiving week like 🦃
This white-crested turkey is from the @biodivlibrary, in the second volume of "A natural history of birds." The title page from the illustrated 1734 book says that it is "Published by the Author Eleazar Albin, and carefully colour'd by his Daughter and Himself, from the Originals, drawn from the live Birds." Albin was an English naturalist and illustrator. (His daughter's name was Elizabeth.) All three volumes of "A natural history of birds" are in our @silibraries.


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Smithsonian

The first person to photograph a single snowflake captured these images.
Wilson A. Bentley used a microscope with his bellows camera—plus years of trial and error—to get a photo of one flake in 1885. (These are all c. 1890.) "Snowflake" Bentley went on to take thousands more, which helped support the belief that no two snowflakes are alike.
In 1903, he sent 500 prints of his snowflakes to the Smithsonian, hoping they might be of interest to our Secretary. The images are now part of @smithsonianarchives. #FirstSnow


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Smithsonian

When photography arrived in Japan in the mid-19th century, traditional woodblock printmakers were forced to adapt their craft to keep pace with the new medium. By the start of the 20th century, the traditional art of printmaking was on the verge of extinction.
Publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō saw the Western art market and the benefit of elevating prints in relation to painting, calligraphy and sculpture. He encouraged artists trained in painting to apply their aesthetic sensibilities to prints.
Watanabe published this 1921 woodblock print, "Morning in Dōtonbori, Osaka" by Kawase Hasui. It's on view in our @freersackler's exhibition "Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography," which explores Japanese artists’ reactions to the challenges of modernity from the late 19th to mid-20th century.
It’s complemented by “Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection” with works by groundbreaking 20th-century photographers.


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Smithsonian

What's the smallest line that is a very good boy?
Dutch eye doctor Herman Snellen developed the most commonly used eye chart in the 1860s (the one with 11 rows of capital letters decreasing in size). Before his chart, people diagnosed their vision problems by themselves and picked the corrective lenses they thought worked for their vision.
Snellen also created the “Tumbling E” chart for patients who couldn't read or who didn't know the Roman alphabet, so they could say which way the E is facing instead of identifying letters.
Graphic designer Paul Rand transformed the chart with Yale bulldogs, the school mascot, and the letter Y for this poster in our @cooperhewitt's collection.


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Smithsonian

It was 100 years ago—at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month—that the guns of World War I went silent.
But who fired the last shot? At 10:57:30 a.m. on that day in 1918, Battery No. 4 fired the last shot of the U.S. Navy in World War I from its position at Charny. At a range of 21.9 miles, the shell struck a German-held railway garage at Longuyon just before 11 a.m.
Shipfitter First Class James A. Kaffka of Arkansas fired the primer charge (essentially a blank rifle cartridge) that is now in our @amhistorymuseum's collection.
This #VeteransDay, we thank our veterans for their service. #Armistice100


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Smithsonian

Victory gardens started during #WorldWarI, when President Woodrow Wilson called on Americans to plant vegetable gardens to ward off the possible threat of food shortages. Americans took up the challenge as a civic and patriotic duty, turning their yards, school property and vacant lots into vegetable gardens.
Charles Lathrop Pack, head of the National War Garden Commission, coined the term “victory garden” as World War I was nearing its end. More upbeat than “war garden,” the term was so popular that it was used again during World War II, when victory gardeners sprang into action again.
This page, featuring a poster encouraging people to serve through gardening, is from Pack's 1919 book "The War Garden Victorious" in our @silibraries.
Today, our @amhistorymuseum convened more than 60 organizations to share World War I history online. See more at #StoriesOfService.


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Smithsonian

These Odawa moccasins, ca. 1825–1835, were purchased by a trader at a fur trade depot in Indiana. Odawa fur traders of western Michigan traveled throughout the western Great Lakes and to the prairies of Manitoba.
This pair is distinguished by the use of blue and black silk on the folded-down cuffs and vamps (top inset) to underlay the beadwork. The use of dashed lines of white glass beads on the cuffs is often found on Odawa moccasins of this style.
These are currently on view at our @smithsoniannmai in New York City. The museum—also on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.—cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts covering the entire Western Hemisphere. #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth


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Smithsonian

Serving fall fashion looks from the 1880s. This portrait of a Smithsonian staff member/undiscovered model is in @smithsonianarchives.


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Smithsonian

"Vote as you dog-gone-please—but vote Nov. 6." This vest tried to inspire humans (not dogs) to vote in the 1950s.
It was sponsored by the Gaines Dog Foods Company, and the other side reads "Be freedom's watch-dog...Get set for Election Day." It's currently on view in "American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith" at our @amhistorymuseum. #ElectionDay #VoteHistory


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Smithsonian

#NoFilter on this more than 250-year-old wooded walk at Pitney Farm in Mendham, New Jersey. 🍁🍂 Kathleen T. Pitney captured the autumnal scene of maple trees in 1997.
Now the image is part of @smithsoniangardens’ Archives of American Gardens in the Garden Club of America collection, which contains thousands of images that document the history of the nation’s gardens and landscapes.


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Smithsonian

#DiadeLosMuertos, or #DayOfTheDead, is not the same as Halloween.
The holiday started in Mexico and Central America, where groups including the Aztec, Maya and Toltec celebrated loved ones who had died. After the Spanish came, the ritual of commemorating the dead was mixed with the Spanish holidays of All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Soul’s Day on Nov. 2.
Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life, not death, and the ofrenda—the most recognized symbol of Día de los Muertos—is a temporary altar where families honor loved ones.
Flowers, butterflies and skulls are typically used as symbols. The skulls aren't meant to be morbid but as a whimsical reminder of the cycle of life, which is why they are brightly decorated.
Photo from our @slc_latino, who you can follow for more on Día de los Muertos.


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