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American History Museum  Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Current Theme: Hair! Hosts: Jordan&Amelia. Legal:

Hair week would be incomplete if we didn’t talk about how our hair dos get done. These photographs capture students at Apex Beauty School, styling hair, painting nails, and more.💇🏾‍♀️💅🏿💄 In the early 1900s, Apex Beauty Products, Poro Beauty Care Business, and the Madam C.J. Walker Company built a national market for African American beauty culture. Each business also offered educational opportunities, helping African American women earn a stable income during segregation as trained beauticians. Many African American beauticians became philanthropic forces in their communities—working to fight inequality and injustice. Learn more:
#Hair #HairHistory #BeautyHistory #Photography #PhotographyHistory #PhotoHistory #BlackAndWhitePhotography #DCHistory #BusinessHistory #philanthropy #BlackHistory #AmericanHistory #Beautician #Esthetician #EstheticianLife #💅🏿 [💄:Scurlock Studio Collection, Archives Center]

Every child has their favorite TV show, and for a generation of Americans, that show was "Bozo the Clown." When paired with face makeup, this skullcap with wig helped an actor become Bozo.
The character of Bozo the Clown was created in 1946 for a children's storytelling album for Capitol Records and later transitioned to television appearances in 1949. This particular wig was worn by Larry Harmon as he played Bozo on television from 1958 to 1962. Harmon bought the rights to Bozo the Clown in 1956 and licensed and franchised Bozo to television stations across America and the world, eventually training over 200 new actors to play Bozo the Clown through the 1990s. The final remaining Bozo show ended its run in Chicago in 2001. [📷: Gift of Larry Harmon]

#EntertainmentHistory #KidsHistory #ChildrensHistory #TelevisionHistory #BusinessHistory #AmericanHistory

Who is a person in American history who inspires you?
We asked baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. that question last week, when he visited the museum to receive the Great Americans medal, an award that recognizes lifetime contributions that embody American ideals and ideas. His answer: the owner of this glove from our collection, fellow Oriole and Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. ⚾
Ripken spent 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and is known for redefining the position of shortstop and breaking Lou Gehrig’s record of longest consecutive games played. After retiring, Ripken created the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to help children living in some of America’s most distressed communities. He has also served as commissioner for the White House Tee Ball Initiative, Special Public Diplomacy Envoy to the U.S. State Department and Special Adviser to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on youth programs and outreach.
#Baseball #BaltimoreHistory #BMoreHistoric #BaltimoreOrioles #BaseballHistory #SportsHistory #philanthropy

One of the more. . .unusual objects in our political history collections is this collection of presidential hair. Created by John Varden in the 1850s, this framed collection includes locks from the first 14 U.S. presidents—from George Washington to Franklin Pierce. Swipe right to take a closer look at the locks.
How did this object get to the museum? John Varden, a private collector, began to collect these locks of hair in 1850. At the time, he was working as keeper of collections for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science at the U.S. Patent Office. Varden eventually donated the set to the national historical collection (which was then a part of the Patent Office), and in the late 1800s, the national collection became part of the Smithsonian Institution.
#HairWeek #HairHistory #Collectors #PresidentialHistory #PresidentialHair #AmericanHistory

Need some #MondayMotivation to put together snazzy outfits this week? This 1928 motivational poster is here to help. 💼
Employers used motivational posters like this to encourage the behaviors they wanted to see in their workers.
#BusinessHistory #LaborHistory #MondayMotivation #MotivationalPoster #GraphicDesign #1920s #Typography #PosterDesign [👔: Randolph Collection, Archives Center]

Not all wigs are meant for humans—this one was worn by the character Mr. Mistoffelees, "the original conjuring cat," in the Broadway musical "Cats." The wig's stiff, short hair is cut in the shape of a cat's head and ears. Winning seven Tony Awards, the original run of "Cats" on Broadway is one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history with 7,485 consecutive shows between 1982 and 2000. Did you see it 🐈? Next Sunday, April 29, will be the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Broadway opening of the rock musical "Hair." To mark the anniversary, we'll be highlighting some of our favorite hair-related objects throughout the week. Want a sneak peek? Follow the link in our bio to see some of the unique hairpieces in our Entertainment Collection.
#HairWeek #HairHistory #BroadwayHistory #MusicalHistory #Cats #AmericanCulture #AmericanHistory

Going to a concert this weekend 🎼? In 1953, crowds of onlookers in Tokyo, Japan gathered to see the artists who had arrived as part of the year's Jazz at the Philharmonic tour. Bassist Ray Brown can be seen seated in the front middle seat of the decked-out car, while trumpeter Charlie Shavers and saxophonist and composer Benny Carter (waving) are seated in the back🎷. Launched in 1944, the Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) series marked a shift from nightclubs to concert halls and revolutionized the way audiences listened to jazz, whether it was in the concert hall or through the first-ever commercially produced live recordings of the concerts🎶. How have you been celebrating #JazzAppreciationMonth this April?
#MusicHistory #JazzHistory #JazzAtThePhilharmonic #SmithsonianJazz #Jazz #AmericanHistory #JapaneseHistory

Fifinella patches like these were worn by women pilot trainees in what became the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). According to British Royal Air Force pilot lore, Fifinella was one of many winged gremlins that played havoc with their airplanes. Roald Dahl popularized the story in 1943 with illustrations provided by Walt Disney, who was given rights to the characters.
During World War II, Disney artists created images of Disney characters for unit patches, eventually providing insignia to almost 1,300 units in the U.S. armed forces. Requests were so numerous that the studio had to set up an entire five-person unit devoted to insignia to even come close to meeting the demand.
Follow the link in our bio to learn more about Disney's work with the U.S. armed forces during World War II.
#AmericanHistory #WorldWar2 #WomensHistory #MilitaryHistory #EntertainmentHistory #Design #Animation #Insignia #WomensHistory

Today, we remember the life of First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush, who died yesterday at the age of 92. Bush's image as a compassionate, down-to-earth grandmother—combined with her dry wit, shrewd political insights, and unflinching candor—made her a formidable political partner.
As First Lady, Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Memorably, she supported literacy projects with profits from her 1990 “collaboration” with the family dog, "Millie’s Book," a copy of which resides in our collections. The first image above is taken from the book's cover.
Visitors can see the royal blue gown, purse, and trademark costume pearls that Barbara Bush wore to the 1989 inaugural balls on display in our "First Ladies" exhibition.

Today is #TaxDay 📫. Hopefully, you're not in a rush to turn in your forms 📄 😳, but if you were, this 1879 tax calculator might come in handy!
Doing the calculations associated with tax collection has inspired inventors from at least the 1600s, when the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal invented an adding machine for that purpose. In 1879, Robert Levin Mudd—then the county clerk in Bond County, Illinois—patented this tax calculator. The device has sliding tables for calculating the tax due on property worth up to $10,000, at rates of 3 cents, 5 cents, and 25 cents per $100 value. Other columns give the total tax due if assessments are made at several rates for different projects.
Doing your taxes on the go 👟? No problem. The entire calculator folds and fits neatly into a wooden case. Mudd was awarded a patent for his calculator on March 11, 1879.
#TaxDay #TaxHistory #PatentHistory #BusinessHistory #AmericanHistory #Invention #Innovation #Patents

Looking for some #MondayMotivation? While we couldn’t send a marching band to start your day, we can send you this motivational poster from 1927.
Employers used motivational posters like this one to encourage behaviors they wanted to see in their staff.
#LaborHistory #BusinessHistory #MotivationalPoster #GraphicDesign #1920s #Typography #PosterDesign
[🎺: Randolph Collection, Archives Center]

Lending a hand to finish up #RobotWeek is the recent additions to our robotics collection: a Salisbury robot hand.
Given the complexity of a human hand, creating a robotic hand is a real challenge. Designed in the early 1980s, the Salisbury hand could both grasp something, and wiggle, shake, or otherwise move what it was holding—a breakthrough for robotic hands!
Robotic hands like this one were used by labs to handle hazardous materials and considered as a potential tool for the space station by NASA. You can learn more about this hand, and Kenneth Salisbury’s other innovations in our latest blog post. Link in the bio.
#Robots #RobotWeek #NationalRobotWeek #Robotics #Innovation #AmericaInnovates #Invention #AmericanHistory

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