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Tag: Smithsonian Institution

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Smithsonian Castle (1900)

Why Is It Named The Smithsonian?

Did you know our greatest museum was funded by and named for an Englishman who never set foot in the United States? Read up on the origins of the Smithsonian and how it was born in our nation's capital.

1879 Smithsonian Construction

This great old photo shows the Arts and Industries Building on the Mall under construction in 1879. And below we found an interesting 1878 rendering of what the building should look like. And finally, here’s a photo of the building after being completed.

Smithsonian Castle in 1856

What a lovely old photo of the Smithsonian Castle in 1856. Click on it for incredible details.

Really Old Pre-Civil War Photo of Washington

Now this is a really super old photo of Washington from around 1857. Click on it for a much larger version to study it. I believe this is a view looking southeast, and the Washington Monument would be just out of the frame on the right. Correct me if I’m mistaken. Also, you should be […]

West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW

1863 View Down Maryland Ave.

Wow, check out this amazing view. We dug up this gem on the Library of Congress site. The full caption is below. West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW (i.e., Independence Ave. SW) to the left, Maine Ave., 3rd, 4 1/2, and 6th streets SW to the center; view includes The Mall, […]

Capitalsaurus Court street sign

Capitalsaurus: The Real Official Dinosaur of the District

Workers were digging a sewer trench beneath a Capitol Hill street in 1898.  They came upon a few fossil fragments — among them, a 6-inch bone that now represents the largest piece of the District’s controversial “official dinosaur,” the Capitalsaurus. The contractor on that sewer project, J. K. Murphy, presented his workers’ discovery to Smithsonian scientists on […]

Daniel H. Riggs, Howard University Medicine, in the South Yard of the Smithsonian Institution Building, stands next to his carriage. Picture shows the East Wing after Adolph Cluss' 1884 renovation. Against the building are sheds, used by the Department of Living Animals, 1887-1890 (Smithsonian Archives)

Doctor and His Carriage at the Smithsonian

Here’s a photograph from 1890 which shows Dr. Daniel H. Riggs of Howard University posing next to his carriage near the Smithsonian. In 1893, the doctor was the defendant in a malpractice lawsuit. The Post reported on the suit on October 13th. A case of interest to physicians and surgeons is that of Harry B. […]

Alligators in their enclosure in the original Animal House, also known as the Carnivora House, which opened in 1892 and was the first permanent building at the National Zoological Park. The alligators are housed in the "temporary" wooden wing of the structure (Smithsonian)

Proposed National Zoo in Rock Creek Park

We are a great nation and Americans in the 1880s were proud of their rapidly growing and dominant country. But how can you truly be a great nation without a national zoo to show off all the wonderful creatures that roam your lands, as well as those of foreign lands? Not only that, how will […]

Hirshhorn Museum construction 1972

All Eyes On The Hirshhorn, But It Wasn’t Always Pretty (Or Round)

This is a guest post by Aaron. Art fans will focus Thursday night on the outer walls of the Hirshhorn Museum.  Eleven video projectors will paint the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary ring with 360 degrees of a looping film called, “SONG 1.”  The Hirshhorn’s exterior will become exhibition space as artist Doug Aitken transforms the circumference […]

Lion Eats Woman At National Zoo

Can you imagine a more terrifying death? This woman met her end by climbing into the lion enclosure at the National Zoo. True story.

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