Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Smithsonians, Natural and American History

We went to a 'Special Collection' exhibit at the Museum of Natural History; they have lots of cool stuff and they can't display all of it I guess, so this exhibit allows them to display some of the cool things that are in their storage room. This is a Samurai uniform. It is hard to see the face mask; it has a furry black mustache. 

After seeing this, we went next door to the Museum of American History. They have a huge exhibit for the Star Spangled Banner. When I went in the early 90s, the flag was hanging and you could take a picture of it; now, they've built a whole new home for it, under very low light, for less light damage. There are two ramps up to the viewing room and it's all pretty dark, and when you get to the window to view the flag, it's basically in the dark and the flag is huge, and not hanging up anymore. On the walk-up ramps, there are plaques with text and pictures and paintings and artifacts describing the War of 1812 and the conditions that lead to the writing of the national anthem. They have a huge ipad type thing that shows a zoomed-in picture of the flag, and you can touch different parts of the screen to move around the different parts of the flag. There are circles here and there and you put your hand on those to see text boxes that have photos and information about the preservation of the flag over the years. Of course, no photos allowed. We spent a lot of time there, because that ipad thing was so cool. You could go there just for that alone. 

The museum is under a lot of construction, so quite a few wings were closed. We went to the 'American Stories' section, with memorabilia from American culture. Lots of cool things in there to see, and the ruby slippers would have been in there, but they were taken out just about a week ago for special cleaning and preservation. They did replace them with Indiana Jones' hat and whip, so that was cool. We went downstairs where they have a 'Innovation and Inventions' room, with different sections by area. This one was labled 'Hartford' as in Connecticut. The kids are making wire picture holders. 

This exhibit has a heartbeat sound you have to regulate with the knobs Tucker is turning. 

This was in the "Bronx" section. I thought it was funny there was an old 80s boombox in the Smithsonian. 

Turntables that made the DJ sounds. 

This is in the 'Hollywood' section. An old technicolor motion picture camera. 

Tucker was overlaying different layers of color to see a picture come to life.

This was in a different memorabilia exhibit. This bike was insane. Super fancy. 

Old fashioned hangers. 

Old thermostats.

A fancy old toilet

One of the Tucker Torpedos is here, really cool. 

On our way out, the kids wanted to 'hold' the Washington monument. 

and then have fun on the grass. 

Whenever we went before, there were ropes all around the grass, keeping people from hanging out on the grass. Now that it's spring, the ropes are gone and the grass is like a thick, soft carpet.