Irving Berlin's piano

Ivory Merchant

Composer Irving Berlin wrote scores of hits on his custom-built instrument


Spirals of History

Hand-carved elephant tusks tell the story of life in the Congolese colonies of the late 1800s

Evel Knievel


Evel Knievel took risky behavior (and showboating) to new heights


Breuer Chair, 1926

Marcel Breuer's Bauhaus minimalism redefined a household basic

Explorer 1 satellite

Explorer I Satellite

In 1958, Explorer 1 launched America's response to the USSR's Sputnik


Chia Pet

For 26 years, marketing whiz Joe Pedott's green-pelted figures have been holiday-season hits


How Pan Am's Founder Juan Trippe Turned Americans Into Frequent Fliers

This antique globe was once owned by the fabled airline executive, who ushered in modern air travel

"We must have run up and down that street 300 times," recalls co-star Carol Lawrence (with Larry Kert).

West Side Glory

Out of Hell's Kitchen came an image that would epitomize one of Broadway's greatest love stories

"Robert [c. 1986] was a real gentleman," recalls blues guitarist Ted Estersohn.

Art and Soul

Bluesman Robert Young wasn't just fooling around

In Mexico, the molinillo stirs passions as well as chocolate.

A Historic Kitchen Utensil Captures What it Takes to Make Hot Chocolate From Scratch

A 1930s tool was used to whip chocolate beverages into a frothy blend

Michael Dell may have assembled this Turbo PC.

Baby Dell

A proto PC harkens back to the birth of an industry

Earhart was equally at home in the air and on the pages of fashion magazines.Earhart was equally at home in the air and on the pages of fashion magazines.

The Flight Stuff

Amelia Earhart brought her own special style—even to her outerwear

"Into another realm": "Midget" Farrelly surfs the shore break off Makaha, Hawaii, in 1968.

Endless Summers

For almost 50 years, surfing legend LeRoy Grannis has been shooting the curl


Flights of Fancy

Leslie Payne's flying machines soared, if only in his imagination


Doodle Dandy

With a few deft strokes, Saul Steinberg turned institutional letterhead into signature works of whimsy


Comic Phyllis Diller's Cabinet Keeps the Jokes Coming

The stand up comic's archive holds a lifetime of proven punch lines

Cornell's 1946 construction, an homage to the ballerina Tamara Toumanova, incorporated feathers from her costumes.

Pas de Deux

Joseph Cornell turned his obsession with a prima ballerina into art

A late-19th-century sled fashioned from eight buffalo ribs—as simple, utilitarian and elegant as a Shaker chair—was made by members of South Dakota’s Lakota Sioux tribe.

Was a Native American Actress the Inspiration for the Enigmatic Sled in 'Citizen Kane'?

A sled in the Smithsonian collections just might provide a clue to Hollywood's most celebrated symbol

Peter Beard at Hog Ranch in 2014 feeding giraffes

Beard's Eye View

When elephants began dying, Peter Beard suspected that poachers were not entirely to blame

On their first flight together, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindberg flew more than 7,000 miles from the United States to China.

Sky Writer

Anne Morrow Lindbergh chronicled the flights made with her celebrated husband

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