National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History, known as the National Museum of History and Technology until 1980, was established in 1957 to house the growing US National Museum’s collections on the social, cultural, scientific, and technological history of the United States. The new museum opened in January of 1964.

Relics of George Washington on Exhibit in A&I, by Unknown, 1891, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2010-2740 or MAH 48727-A or MAH48727A or 48727-A. George Washington Relics on Display, 1891
The relics of George Washington on exhibit as part of the Ethnology exhibit in the North Hall of the United States National Museum, 1891 (now the Arts and Industries Building). Washington's relics were one of the earliest collections of the United States National Museum.
First Ladies Exhibit in the A&I Building, by Unknown, 1920s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 11064B or MAH-11064B. The First Ladies Hall, 1920s
The First Ladies Hall was housed in the Arts & Industries Building from 1912 until it moved in the 1960's to the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History. From 1912 until 1955 the gowns were displayed in cases, as seen here in the 1920's. After 1955 gowns were displayed in room settings. Exhibit cases of First Ladies Gowns were probably in the northwest range of the Arts and Industries Building. A woman is looking in the case to the left at the dress of Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of President James Buchanan. A woman and a man are looking in the case to the right which contains the dress of Jane Appleton Pierce (left), wife of President Franklin Pierce, and a dress of Abigail Powers Fillmore (right), wife of President Millard Fillmore.
Architectural Drawing for the Proposed MHT, by Terriss, Hugh, c. 1960, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 52294 or MAH-52294. Architectural Drawing of Proposed Museum, c. 1960,
An architectural rendering of the exterior of the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History (NMAH), shows people and cars and the Constitution Street entrance.
Installation of Steam Locomotive in NMHT, by Unknown, 1961, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2004-10283 or SA1289. Steam Locomotive Being Moved to the New Museum, 1961
The 1401, a 280 ton Pacific-type passenger steam locomotive shown being moved into the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), now the National Museum of American History (NMAH), while the building is still under construction. The locomotive is sitting just outside the building, attached to a pulley system, being readied to be moved in. There are several people standing in the foreground, background and right side of the photograph. The locomotive was built in 1926 by the Richmond, Virginia, works of the American Locomotive Company. The front center of the Department of Commerce Building can be seen on the right.
Frank A. Taylor at Museum of History & Technology, by Unknown, c. 1964, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2009-0003 or 83-2074. Director Frank Taylor Inspects the New Museum, c. 1964
Frank A. Taylor, founding Director of the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History), inspects the History and Technology Building as construction nears completion. He is standing on the fifth floor terrace. The Washington Monument and National Mall are visible in the left background.
Newly Completed Museum of History and Technology, by Unknown, 1964, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2010-2181 or P6499-A or MAH-P6499A. Aerial View of New Museum, 1964
Aerial photo from the Washington Monument showing the newly completed Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, the construction of the West Wing of the Natural History Building, The National Mall, Constitution Avenue, the Capitol in the distance, and the Smithsonian Institution Building on the right.
American Folk Art Collection, NMHT, by Unknown, 1965, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-12193. Van Alstyne American Folk Art Collection Exhibit, 1965
At the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, Curator Silvio Bedini stands behind visitors viewing the Eleanor and Mabel Van Alstyne American Folk Art Collection. The inscription on the image's negative sleeve reads: "Tour conducted by Mr. Bedini for the children of the White House."
Instrument Shop, 19th Century, NMAH, by Unknown, 1966, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 59810-30A or OPA-841F. 19th Century Instrument Shop Exhibit, 1966
A reproduction of the facade of a 19th century instrument shop of Benjamin Pike of New York City in the Hall of Physical Sciences. Many of his instruments are on display in the windows. The exhibit opened in March 1966 in the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History.
Infinity Sculpture, Museum of History and Technology, by Unknown, 1967, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-10622. Installing Infinity Sculpture on North Plaza, 1967
Installation of the Infinity sculpture on the National Mall side of the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History.
Atlas Computer Exhibit, by Unknown, 1970s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2010-2894 or X3794 or MAH-X3794 or 3794. Atlas Computer Exhibit, 1970s
ATLAS Computer Exhibit displayed in the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), now the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The Atlas Computer, developed at the University of Manchester, England, was at the time the fastest computer, using germanium transistors.
Pendulum Hall in NMHT, by Unknown, c. 1970, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2010-2908 or P64131-F or P64131-f.10. Foucault Pendulum in Lobby, c. 1970
Visitors on the lower level of the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, are watching Foucault's Pendulum, which demonstrates the rotation of the earth.
First Ladies Hall, NMHT, by Unknown, 1972, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 72-7078. First Ladies Hall, 1972
View of one of the exhibits in the First Ladies Hall, National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, featuring at far right the addition of the gown of First Lady Mrs. Patricia Nixon. The following are also pictured from left to right: Florence King Harding, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Lou Henry Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower, Jackqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson.
Donation by "All in the Family" Cast, by Hofmeister, Richard K, 1978, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 92-1711. "All in the Family" Cast Visits the Museum, 1978
The cast of the television sitcom "All in the Family" came to the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, to donate Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs to the "A Nation of Nations" exhibit in September of 1978. (L-R): Jean Stapleton, Secretary (1964-1984) S. Dillon Ripley, Norman Lear, Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner as they peer into the case where the chairs are displayed.
Archives Center Stack Area, National Museum of American History, by Unknown, 1979, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2003-19504. Archives Center Collections Storage, 1979
Maryann Belardo is pictured looking through records in the Archives Center's stack area of the National Museum of American History.
"Railroad" Harris in NMAH Railroad Hall, by Ploskonka, Jeffrey, 1982, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-6750-10 or SIA82-6750-10. “Railroad Harris” with Locomotive, the "Pioneer," 1982
In National Museum of American History's Railroad Hall, Robert "Railroad" Harris of the Guard Force stands beside a train engine that has the name "Pioneer" on one of its wheels. An early passenger locomotive, the "Pioneer," was built in 1851 for the Cumberland Valley Railroad Company of central Pennsylvania.
Moving the John Bull, by Tinsley, Jeff, 1986, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 86-2588-17 or SIA86-2588-17. Moving the John Bull Locomotive, 1983
National Museum of American History Museum Specialist John Stine struggling to move the 12-ton John Bull locomotive to a new spot thirty feet away from its previous location on the second floor, March 6, 1986.