The Paleontology Hall (or Dinosaur Hall) in the National Museum of Natural History, ca. 1932. At the time of this picture the exhibit was called the “Hall of Extinct Monsters.”
One of the Smithsonian Institution’s most popular museums opened on March 17, 1910, becoming the second-largest Washington building at the time (the first, of course, being the U.S. Capital). Happy birthday!
Taxidermist/modeller John Widener works on the cast model of the giant whale featured in the Life in the Sea exhibit in the National Museum of Natural History, ca. 1950’s.
(Doesn’t this picture make you want to watch Bringing Up Baby?)
Posted by Usable Past under public history
Less digital history and more digital future, but cool nevertheless.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has recently acquired a new beast for its “collection” (can we call it that?): a Giant Pacific Octopus. So far, this octopod is only a mere 3 pounds, hardly fitting for its name (according to the press releases, at this point in time it is too early to designate a gender to the octopus, though they suspect this is a male. I prefer to think that the Smithsonian is making a political statement about the constructions of gender. Or that perhaps in the mollusk kingdom, being agendered is where it’s at.). But soon the octopus will grow up to 13 times
in size its CURRENT size, making this species of invertebrate the “giant panda” of the sea. The only octopus at the National Zoo, this one will provide visitors and scholars with the opportunity to study one of the most interesting eight-sticky-suction-cup-adorned-armed creatures, ever.
You can watch the octopus live on the octopuscam!