Articles by Victoria Dawson

When all was said and done, Thomas Edison would call his talking dolls his "little monsters."

The Epic Failure of Thomas Edison's Talking Doll

Expensive, heavy, non-functioning and a little scary looking, the doll created by America's hero-inventor was a commercial flop

The Good Work film crew captures the annual re-plastering of the historic adobe morada in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

In a New Film, Master Artisans Share Their Passion for the Labors They Love

Award-winning filmmakers, Smithsonian folklorist Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner, explore impact of craft in <em>Good Work</em>, airing now on PBS

This red knit cardigan was worn by Fred Rogers, creator and host of the children's program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (PBS, 1968-2001).

The Cardiganed Fred Rogers Was Every Kid's Cozy Comfort Zone

A red sweater in the Smithsonian collections was the trademark of kindness and caring in the indelible 'Mr. Rogers Neighborhood'

Thomas Wilfred Sitting at the Clavilux “Model E,” about 1924

This Artist Painted With Light. An Admiring Astronomer Helped Make Him a Star

The works and machinations of Thomas Wilfred, a lone performer, inventor and visionary, are now on view

Podnar shoots dry ice pellets, which sit at a frosty temperature of around negative minus-180-degrees Fahrenheit, at the object's surface

The Innovative Spirit fy17

Conservation of a Pair of Saint-Gaudens Goes al Fresco at the Freer

The beauty of dry ice cleaning is the efficient and environmentally safe process; but also the procedure was on view from the street

It is thought that Nat Turner was holding this Bible when he was captured two months after the rebellion he led against slaveholders in Southampton County, Virginia.

Breaking Ground

Nat Turner's Bible Gave the Enslaved Rebel the Resolve to Rise Up

A Bible belonging to the enslaved Turner spoke of possibility says curator Rex Ellis of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company premiers its newest work, "We choose to go to the moon," at the Kennedy Center on September 19 and 20, 2015.

A Dancer and a Scientist Deliver a New Take on the Moon Walk

When modern dance collides with science and space history, the result can be a great leap forward

Ornamental weathervanes once adorned the cupolas of the stand-alone Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, hinting at a bygone folk era and forecasting the multi-directional dominance of its corporate future.

How Colonel Sanders Made Kentucky Fried Chicken an American Success Story

A weathervane from the Smithsonian collections is emblematic of Harland Sanders’s decades-long pursuit to make his chicken finger-lickin' good

Roberts' wheelchair sports a reclining seat, a headlight for nighttime driving and a space in the back for a respirator and a small portable ramp.

Ed Roberts' Wheelchair Records a Story of Obstacles Overcome

The champion of the disability rights movement refused to be hindered and challenged the world to create spaces for independent living

Tony Award winner Geoffrey Holder's ingenious design used a skillet to complete the Tinman’s hat in the 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz.

Breaking Ground

The Tinman's Hat From "The Wiz" Offers Just a Hint of the Musical's Beating Heart

When the all-black musical production opened on Broadway 40 years ago, critics scoffed, but audiences embraced it

Helen Thomas' press passes

On the Legacy of Helen Thomas

The White House correspondent's career as a journalist spanned ten presidencies and was marked by an unwavering dedication to the truth

Minnie Pearl 1965

How-deeeee!

Homely country togs defined a beloved Grand Ole Opry stalwart

Slave hire badges. 
National Museum of American History

Copper Neck Tags Evoke the Experience of American Slaves Hired Out as Part-Time Laborers

From the mid-18th century to the end of the Civil War, owners marketed the labor and skills of their slaves

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