Incan Jug and Cup
This is the John Bull locomotive, the oldest locomotive in America that can still run. It last did so in 1981.
This is the kitchen studio used by Julia Child for her television show.
Slurpee Cups from the 1970s
National Museum of American History
I spent five hours in the American History museum, and even then I rushed through several galleries. Some of my favorite exhibits include America on the Move, American Enterprise, and American Stories. The museum is loaded with artifacts from U.S. history, some more obscure than others. Take the George Washington Statue. It is a somewhat bizarre marble figure of George Washington portrayed as a half-naked Greek god with a perfect muscular body the real man never had. In 1832, Congress commissioned Horatio Greenough to sculpt this twelve-ton monstrosity for display in the Capitol rotunda. Unveiled in 1841, it received mixed reactions from the public. Some liked the symbolism of a god-like Washington while others were upset by its upper-body nudity. Clearly the latter opinion won out, because now you find it by the elevators on the second floor of the American History museum and not somewhere in the Capitol.
Other historic objects that caught my attention include Benjamin Franklin’s walking stick, the golden railroad spike used to connect the Union and Central Pacific Railroads that ushered in America’s first transcontinental railway, and two beams from the South Twin Tower brought down in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Surely the most precious object the museum possesses is the Great Garrison Flag that the flew over Fort McHenry during the British attack upon it in 1814. Its refusal to surrender inspired one witness, Francis Scott Key, to write the poem “Star-Spangled Banner.” When last I saw this huge flag (it is 30 by 42 feet), it was in sad shape. A sign noted it was due for restoration. And restore it the museum did. It now resides in a darkened gallery in all its glory where photography is forbidden.
A somewhat unsettling statue George Washington by Horatio Greenough.