on January 15, 2006
The National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall. The closest metro station is Federal Triangle, which is located on the Blue and Orange Lines. You can also use the Smithsonian station, which runs on the same lines. The museum is open every day, excepy Christmas, from 10am to 5:30pm.I visited the 1st and 3rd Floors on my second visit to this Museum, but I feel each floor deserves its own entry like the 2nd floor received. When entering the building for Constitution Avenue you enter on the 1st floor. The first floor also contains a Subway restaurant that I noticed was crowed all afternoon during my Sunday visit.One of the exhibits I enjoyed exploring was On Time, which was an exhibit the development of clocks and how the accessibility of watches and clocks led to the key role of time in our lives. One of the interesting facts I found was that the word clock comes from the English work 'clok' meaning bell. The exhibit contained many elaborate and simplistic clocks and watches that portrayed the development of clocks from the time of bell towers that rang on the hour to inexpensive wrist watches. At the end their is a rotating exhibit. During my visit it contained an exhibit on the making of the Mickey Mouse watch, one of the first wristwatches targeted to children.Another major exhibit on this level is the America On the Move exhibit. This exhibit shows the development of transportation and its effects on American culture. It goes from the time of trains and steamships to automobiles and Route 66. The exhibit contains real trains, mass transit buses, a school bus, a trolley car, and a variety of cars. One of the locomotives is called John Bull and was built in 1831. In 1981 it was taken out of the museum to do a short run on a railroad track in order to make it the oldest train in working condition. The locomotive stands outside of the America On the Move exhibit, but the movie about it can be seen in the Engines of Change exhibit nearby.I also enjoyed the Lighting a Revolution exhibit, which contains artifacts relating to the invention and improvement of electricity and lighting. It includes some artifacts relating to the original light bulb invention by Edison. It also contains some other inventions relating to the use of electricity. I thought the case of old toasters was interesting.Other exhibits on this floor include Science in American Life, that shows the more recent advances in technology; Julia Child's Kitchen, which is her actual kitchen and its contents; and American Maritime Enterprise, which contains many models of ships and gives the history of ships relating to American economy.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009