Blog

Curator Kathleen Franz and Mr. Peanut featured on Founding Fragments

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Last week, our very own Kathleen Franz was featured in an episode of the museum’s Founding Fragments video series. Check out the video below to learn about a fascinating, cast-iron Mr. Peanut figure and the development of a classic American brand. If you’d like to learn even more about the history of Mr. Peanut and his young creator, Antonio Gentile, …

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Personal stories are key in telling the story of agricultural innovation

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How many stories have been collected so far? The Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive has already collected about 40 stories …

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Crowdsourcing Agricultural History: Announcing the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive

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Today, March 19th, 2013, the National Museum of American History launched a new online initiative that aims to crowdsource the …

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Teens and Teena

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I’ve never seen my career ambitions ending with a marriage or, as some of my friends call it, a “MRS …

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Pawning: the three balls lost and found

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Late last winter, I was contacted by curator Nancy Davis, who wanted to talk about the history of pawning in …

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An industry “zAPPed”: the state of board games today

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Last spring, I was given the most unique assignment in my graduate school education:  visit the Hasbro board game factory …

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Marketing Moments: Creating Kash, Creating Culture

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It was the summer of 2008 and my partner Sissy Estes and I were working on new ideas for our …

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The making of Labor Day

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Labor Day, in its origins a nineteenth-century celebration of the dignity of work, swiftly evolved into today’s pleasant pause at …

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Playing the American dream: race, class, and opportunity in business board games

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In the 1984 pilot episode of The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable lectures his son Theo about his poor …

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Inventing the Game of Life

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How do you become successful as a toy inventor? Reuben Klamer, who developed the 1960 Game of Life, suggests inspiration, …

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Seeing artistry in Alfred Bloomingdale’s cartoon collection

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The four years I’ve worked in the National Numismatic Collection, I’ve admired a set of quirky cartoons that adorned the …

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