Chiricahua Apache Gutálsi'á' (hide painting) representing the Na'ii'es, or puberty ceremony, made by Naiche, ca. 1900

Date:
1900
Creator:
Naiche

This hide painting, painted by the Apache chief Naiche, depicts an Apache puberty ceremony, called 'Na'ii'es.'

Location:
4th St and Independence Ave SW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
13.2383
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Strawberry And Chocolate

Date:
2000
Creator:
Gail Tremblay

This sculpture, molded by Gail Tremblay of the Onondaga and Mi'kmaq tribes, conveys a sense of identity as part of the Our Lives collection. The main section of Our Lives centers on various layers of identity. For Native people, identity--who you are, how you dress, what you think, where you fit in, and how you see yourself in the world--has been shaped by language, place, community membership, social and political consciousness, and customs and beliefs. But Native identity has also been influenced by a legacy of legal policies that have sought to determine who is Indian and who is not. The issue of Native identity continues to resonate today, as Native people across the Americas seek to claim the future on their own terms.

Description (physical):

H: 229cm.

Location:
4th St and Independence Ave SW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
25.7273
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Fender Precision Bass

Publisher/Studio:
Fullerton, CA: Fender Electric Instrument Company

Leo Fender revolutionized the music world with his 1951 electric Precision Bass, and guitarist Monk Montgomery is credited with making the instrument a musical sensation. Although there were earlier stand-up electric basses, the "P Bass" was the first to be played like a standard guitar. It was also the first guitar to have the distinctive double cutaways. By far the most famous and popular electric bass ever made, its name is often used generically for any electric bass guitar. This model is finished in shell pink, a very popular custom color of the time.

Location:
National Museum of American History Room 334, MRC 604 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012 Washington, DC 20013-7012 Washington DC , District of Columbia
Identifier:
10.025
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Gretsch White Penguin

Date:
1956
Publisher/Studio:
Brooklyn, NY: Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Company

This rare solid-body electric model is one of fewer than 100 manufactured. Introduced in 1955, the White Penguin never appeared in the Gretsch catalog, despite the top-of-the-line appointments, like the "Cadillac" tailpiece, for which Gretsch was known. It was part of the Duo-Jet series and is the solid-body companion of the more popular electric archtop model, the White Falcon. Gretsch was best known for its hollow-body electrics, which were favored by the company's primarily jazz and country music clientele.

Location:
National Museum of American History Room 334, MRC 604 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012 Washington, DC 20013-7012 Washington DC , District of Columbia
Identifier:
10.026
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Fender Jazzmaster

Date:
1958
Publisher/Studio:
Fullerton, CA: Fender Electric Instrument Company

This is a prototype of Fender's Jazzmaster model that was introduced as the new top-of-the-line guitar in 1958. It was the first guitar to have an asymmetrical waist and to feature a switch allowing quick changes between rhythm and lead tones. Fender was attempting to market the instrument to jazz musicians, thus the name. Instead, it became the guitar of choice for surf bands like the Beach Boys.

Location:
National Museum of American History Room 334, MRC 604 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012 Washington, DC 20013-7012
Identifier:
10.027
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grumman FM-1 (F4F-4) Wildcat

Date:
1940
Publisher/Studio:
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation

Leroy Grumman's F4F Wildcat was not the fastest or most advanced fighter aircraft of World War II, but during the dark months after Pearl Harbor, Wildcat pilots stood firm, held the line, and stopped the Imperial Japanese military air forces when they seemed invincible. After war erupted in the Pacific, the Grumman F4F Wildcat was the primary fighter aircraft operated by the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. By 1942 every American Navy fighter squadron flew the F4F. Read more »

Description (physical):

Single engine, mid-wing, carrier-based fighter aircraft. Material: Semi-monocoque all-metal.

Location:
Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW Washington,District of Columbia20560
Identifier:
A19610122000cp36
Institution:
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

1861 Percussion Rifle-musket

Date:
1861

This Model 1861 was the standard rifle-musket used throughout the war. It was originally made by the Springfield Armory, but due to the need for more firearms, the U.S. government contracted with twenty private contractors. It is estimated that about one million Model 1861–type muskets were manufactured during the war. It was a modification of the Model 1855 rifle-musket that eliminated the patch box and the Maynard tape primer. These changes lowered its manufacturing costs and time, both of which were beneficial to a country at war and in need of firearms.

Location:
Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Sts. NW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
0.001
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

The Lead Minie Ball

During the Civil War the North and South used a great variety of small arms ammunition, but the type most used was the minie ball. Prior to the development of the minie ball, rifles were not used in combat due to the difficulty in loading. The ammunition used by rifles was the same diameter as the barrel in order for the bullet to engage the groves of the rifled barrel. As a result the ball had to be forced into the barrel. The minie ball, originally designed by Captain Claude-Etienne Minie of France and improved on by manufacturers in the United States, changed warfare. Since the minie ball was smaller than the diameter of the barrel, it could be loaded quickly by dropping the bullet down the barrel. This conical lead bullet had two or three grooves and a conical cavity in its base. The gases, formed by the burning of powder once the firearm was fired, expanded the base of the bullet so that it engaged the rifling in the barrel. Thus, rifles could be loaded quickly and yet fired accurately. These two minie balls from opposing sides met head-on during fierce fighting at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862.

Description (physical):

Material: Lead

Location:
Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Sts. NW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
0.016
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Spotsylvania Stump

This shattered stump was once a healthy oak tree in a rolling meadow just outside Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. On the morning of May 12, 1864, 1,200 entrenched Confederates, the front line of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, awaited the assault of 5,000 Union troops from the 2nd Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Twenty hours later, the once-peaceful meadow had acquired a new name, the “Bloody Angle.” The same fury of rifle bullets that cut down 2,000 combatants tore away all twenty-two inches of this tree's trunk.

Location:
Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Sts. NW Washington, District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
0.017
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
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Gatling Gun Patent Model

Date:
1862
Creator:
Richard J. Gatling

This is a wooden model of the six-barrel repeating gun designed and patented by Richard J. Gatling in 1862. The overall length of this patent model is 36 inches with 11 1/2 inch barrels. The Gatling gun saw little action during the Civil War, but by 1866 it was adopted by the U.S. Army, and in addition, other countries began purchasing it in different models and calibers.

Description (physical):

L: 36"

Location:
Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Sts. NW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Identifier:
0.018
Institution:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History