As a museum artifact, Lillian Vernon's kitchen table, where she started her multimillion-dollar catalogue business, is "an evocative piece of material culture that speaks to female entrepreneurship and the 'second shift,' or running a business while simultaneously running a household,” says curator Kathleen Franz.

Lillian Vernon’s Catalog Empire Got Its Start at a Kitchen Table

A keen sense of what shoppers wanted made her eponymous company the first woman-owned business on the American Stock Exchange

Left, a few of the ingredients used to build flavor throughout the mead making process at Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, including honey, hops, comapeño peppers, oak chips, cinnamon sticks and juniper berries. Right, Lynn Pronobis, head mead maker at Charm City, must carefully oversee every step of the production process.

The Nectar of the Gods Is Coming to a Bar Near You

How mead, one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages, could become the drink of the future

Scholars say that Afrocentric notions of invention have often emphasized serving the needs of the community, social justice and artistic self-expression, such as the unpatented innovations of DJ Grandmaster Flash, who reimagined turntables and mixers as musical instruments and developed techniques like “scratching” that defined rap and hip- hop music.

Tearing Down the Barriers for Black Inventors Begins With Honoring Their Historic Breakthroughs

Smithsonian’s Eric S. Hintz, a historian of invention, details how scholars are envisioning a more inclusive ecosystem for the innovators of tomorrow

The origins of the crunchy snack date back to at least the 1800s.

How the Potato Chip Took Over America

A fussy magnate, a miffed chef and the curious roots of the comfort food we hate to love

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Snowboarding

Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter

On October 24, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf had just begun when two Hellcat pilots U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing spotted a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes (above: a 1943 photograph of Grumman F6F Hellcats in flight).

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

U.S. Navy Pilots David McCampbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf


The Sake Master Who Bucks Ancient Tradition—in America

The ancient Japanese art of brewing a fragrant alcoholic drink from rice is being reinterpreted by Atsuo Sakurai in an unlikely setting

Nyan Cat, a 2011 animated feline with a Pop Tart body, first became a popular YouTube video but was reclaimed by its creator, a young Dallas artist named Chris Torres, as an NFT that sold for $587,000 in February.

Hirshhorn Hosts Panel of Experts to Hash Out the Brave New World of Non-Fungible Tokens

The unexpected $69 million sale of a digital artwork shocked the art world and now disruption is the name of the game

"Halo 2600" game map.

Smithsonian Voices

How the Smithsonian Is Documenting and Preserving Video Games

At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a researcher develops strategy for digital preservation

Reproductive biologist Pei-Chih Lee helped develop a new procedure to dehydrate and preserve samples of cat ovarian tissue without freezing.

Scientists Pumped Ovarian Tissue Full of Sugar and Microwaved It. Here’s Why

Though only tried in cat tissues so far, the technique could someday aid fertility preservation, wildlife conservation and more

How Zookeepers Built Karl, the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, a New 3-D Beak

For this species, a beak is everything and Karl has had his old one re-tooled for hunting and communication

“I love all kinds of music and I really just want to continue to stretch my hands wide open, hold hands with other artists, and build these bridges, and just to be able to create new lanes of music,” says Steve Aoki, whose equipment recently went on view at the Smithsonian.

Why This Body-Surfing, Sound-Blasting, Cake-Throwing DJ Belongs in a Museum

Just as his new release tops the charts, Electronic Dance Music DJ Steve Aoki says he is "blown away" to have his turntable technology in the collections

The dozen or so cameras watching the musicians sent live video from the performance to a rack of computers, which used off-the-shelf artificial intelligence algorithms to create the eerie visuals.

The Musical Performance "Sight Machine" Reveals What Artificial Intelligence Is "Thinking" About Us

Like artist Trevor Paglen's other work, the show asked viewers to reexamine the human relationship to technology

The National Design Awards honor 11 individuals and organizations described by Cooper-Hewitt director Caroline Baumann as having “elevated our understanding of what great American design is and what it can do to improve the world.”

The Innovative Spirit fy17

These Design Champs Are Having Their Moment in the Sun

Three Cooper-Hewitt award winners share secrets and stories with design critic Owen Edwards

Trending Today

Test Your Smarts With the British Spy Agency's Christmas Card Puzzle

Can you solve this head-scratcher?

Derek “Agent D” Demeter: Planetarium Director at Seminole State College of Florida (Orlando)

2014 "Future Is Here" Featured Speaker


Where Are the 50 Most Populous Refugee Camps?

Millions of people worldwide flee their homes to escape violence, persecution or natural disasters. Here’s where they live

The Geobulb LED light bulb

Don’t Curse the Darkness, Get One of the Bright New Lights

It's time to say good-bye to the iconic, but inefficient incandescent bulb and welcome in LEDs

The Taj backs up against the once-vibrant Yamuna River, now often dried to the point where locals can walk in the riverbed.

Ask Smithsonian 2017

How to Save the Taj Mahal?

A debate rages over preserving the awe-inspiring, 350-year-old monument that now shows signs of distress from pollution and shoddy repairs's interactive Les Paul doodle

Brand New

Forward-thinking companies are starting to figure out ways to convert their logos to tools of engagement

Page 1 of 2