The 19th Century Nitty-Gritty: An Entirely New Blog Series

By Melissa Rayner19th c NG, Week 1, small

Does dealing with modern technology give you a headache? Have you ever felt like maybe you were born in the wrong century? Do you long for the days of Austen, Bronte, and Dickens?

Welcome home.

That’s right! This is the first in an entirely new blog series, a series that celebrates everybody’s–Right? Everybody’s!–favorite century, the 19th. But, alas, there is a catch…

We’ll be using modern technology to facilitate our journey back in time. Worry not, though. That part is easy, thanks to our favorite digital resources, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Smithsonian Collections Online, and even a few special guest resources you’ll meet later down the road.

What’s more, we’ll do all the heavy lifting for you and deliver our findings in a neat and pretty blog post, along with a fancy list of references in case you’d like to check them out for yourself.

The best news? We’ll be hosting this journey back through time each and every Wednesday, right here on the Gale Blog. So put on your petticoat or hitch up your britches, this incredible time travel opportunity starts right now.

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Behind the Screen: At the Dibner Library

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

I’ve been to the Smithsonian a couple times before, and I’ve always thought of it as just a museum (and a glorious one at that) – giant covered wagon, old-fashioned cars, sewing machines, etc. I had absolutely no idea what lay behind the exhibits until my recent trip to do some filming for our latest Behind the Screen video at the National Museum of American History.

We lugged our film equipment through the side entrance and took a long walk through a dimly-lit maze to get to a wooden door – the entrance to the Dibner Library. I had never noticed the sign for the Dibner Library before. It’s right off the main entrance to the museum, and open to the public, but it’s tucked away, and most visitors have no idea it exists… What’s inside is an absolute treasure trove.

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The Zipper Gets a Makeover

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

Under Armor is taking the zipper and giving it a radical makeover (check the story out here).

It turns out that the zipper made its first appearance at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The zipper that was introduced there has undergone only minor modifications since then. That’s 121 years that this invention has remained mostly unchanged. Not many inventions have those bragging rights.

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Behind the Scenes of Smithsonian Collections Online

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

We couldn’t be more excited about the products we’re launching through our partnership with Smithsonian.

When I first heard that we were going to partner with Smithsonian, I was ecstatic. Who wouldn’t be excited about getting to work with the largest museum and research complex in the world?

Everyone thinks of their childhood visit to the Museum of American History or the Air and Space Museum when they think of Smithsonian, but it’s really so much more.

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