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Found 9,973 Resources

Notebook describing Kanto earthquake, Japan

Archives of American Art
Diary : 1 v. : handwritten ; 13 x 9 cm.

Notebook with lined paper, bound by binder rings, containing writings by Thayer, including quotes, notes, and a description of the Great Kanto Earthquake, Japan, 1923.

Sheets Describing the Wizard Calculating Machine

National Museum of American History
These illustrated instructions describe the use of the Wizard adder in addition, in subtraction, in multiplication and as an aid in division. An example of the adder has number 1980.0787.01.

Exhibition panels describing William H. Johnson's career

Archives of American Art
Exhibition Script : 7 p. : ill. ; 59 x 44 cm.

Exhibition panels created by the Harmon Foundation about William H. Johnson's work and career. The panels have original photographs of Johnson and his artwork attached.

$3 Columbus Describing His Third Voyage single

National Postal Museum

Design of the stamp is taken from a painting by Francisco Jover entitled "Columbus Describing His Third Voyage". Printed in sheets of 100, cut into panes of 50 for distribution. Neither sheets of 100 nor panes of 50 are known to remain intact. Quantity issued: 24,713(?).

Letter Describing the 1913 Suffrage Parade

National Museum of American History
Florence Hedges worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a plant pathologist. She marched in the 1913 Woman Suffrage parade in Washington as part of the College Women section along with other graduates from the University of Michigan and one of their male professors. Their "Scientific Research" banner drew comments: "It ought to be domestic Science," and "Well this is evolution." On March 9, she wrote her father a detailed account of the parade. Florence Hedges didn’t believe the crowd was "bent on making trouble" but the lack of police control gave "… the hoodlums which are always to be found in a crowd, an opportunity to do anything they really liked." Some of her companions "could feel the hot breath of the people—often whiskey-laden—in their faces."

On the day before the 1913 presidential inauguration, more than 5,000 women marched up Pennsylvania Avenue demanding the right to vote. Women from around the country came to Washington in a show of strength and determination to obtain the ballot. More than 10,000 spectators crowded the parade route. Some were simply boisterous but others were hostile. They spilled past the barriers and off the sidewalks, clogging Pennsylvania Avenue. Police officers were unable or unwilling to hold back the crowds and after the first four blocks the parade stalled as the marchers couldn’t pass through the mob. A cavalry unit from Fort Myer was finally called in to restore order and the parade finished hours late. The public was horrified, and a one-day event became an ongoing story, with demands for an investigation of the police department’s failure to protect the women.

A transcription of the letter follows:

Pamphlet Describing Jullien Models for Descriptive Geometry

National Museum of American History
This pamphlet accompanies a set of Jullien models for descriptive geometry and includes a full description of the models, an account of how to assemble them, and mathematical details.

For related objects, see COLL.1986.0885 and 1986.0885.01.01 through 1986.0885.01.30.

Joseph Cornell diary describing and illustrating the constellation Cygnus

Archives of American Art
Diary : 1 p. : handwritten, ill. ; 26 x 21 cm.

Cornell's diary with an illustration of the constellation Cygnus and describing shooting stars into the constellation Leo.

English Speakers Are Bad at Identifying and Describing Smells

Smithsonian Magazine

What does a flower smell like? In English, we’d probably pause and say something like “it smells like...a flower.” In English, we describe smells by explaining what they smell like. Things smell like fish, or like grass, or like chocolate. And that’s only if we can describe the smells. Which we often can’t. One study asked subjects to identify 24 everyday smells, and they barely got half of the answers right. 

But is this a problem with our noses, or with English? One recent study tried to identify the culprit by comparing English speakers' smell descriptors with the words used for smell in other languages. The researchers looked at the Jahai people, a group of hunter gatherers from Malaysia and Thailand. It turns out that the Jahai (whose language is called Jahai) describe smell quite differently from us.

They have words that mean things like “to smell edible,” “to smell roasted,” “to stink,” “to be musty,” “to have a urine-like smell,” and even “to have a bloody smell which attracts tigers.” If you ask Jahai speakers and English speakers to describe scents, and then compare them, you see some interesting differences. English speakers struggled to describe the smells they were given and gave answers five times longer than those they used to describe colors. Here’s how one English speaker described cinnamon:

“I don’t know how to say that, sweet, yeah; I have tasted that gum like Big Red or something tastes like, what do I want to say? I can’t get the word. Jesus it’s like that gum smell like something like Big Red. Can I say that? Ok. Big Red. Big Red gum.”

Rebecca Schwarzlose at the blog Garden of the Mind points out that this is quite different from how the Jahai performed:

Now compare that with Jahai speakers, who gave slightly shorter responses to name odors than to name colors and used abstract descriptors 99% of the time for both tasks. They were equally consistent at naming both colors and scents. And, if anything, this study probably underestimated the odor-naming consistency of the Jahai because many of the scents used in the test were unfamiliar to them.

This finding is particularly interesting because for a long time people simply assumed that humans on the whole were bad at naming smells. “Our findings show that the long-held assumption that people are bad at naming smells is not universally true,” the authors write. “Odors are expressible in language, as long as you speak the right language.”

Draft essay about Spiral Jetty, describing its evolution

Archives of American Art
Essay : 7 p. : handwritten ; 28 x 22 cm. Robert Smithson writes about the inspiration and development of his earthwork project, Spiral Jetty, in the Great Salt Lake, Utah.

Newspaper clipping describing the participants in the NCNW motorcade

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This short news clipping describes the Greek-letter and civic organizations that participated in the Citizen Education Project motorcade on September 8, 1956. The clipping is taped to the lower half of the tenth page in Frances Albrier's scrapbook (2010.60.1).

Article page describing a trial of South African Activists

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This is a page from an article that describes the trial of South African activists. The page is segmented into three columns. The far right column features black and white images of three activists identified as [Mr Mosiuoa Lekota / Mr Saths Cooper / Mr Strini Moodley]. The other two columns feature text about arrested protesters and their trials. The column on the far left has two headers that read: [The Accused Refuse to Plead] and [The Trial Gets Under Way]. The back of the page is blank.

Document describing the organization of the Citizenship Education Project

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A single page document consisting of typewritten black ink on white paper, adhered to the third page of the scrapbook compiled by Frances Albrier (2010.60.1). The document describes the actions undertaken to register voters and the results of the campaign in number of voters registered.

$3 Columbus Describing His Third Voyage card plate proof

National Postal Museum
Regular stamps distributed as samples or gifts were valid for postage. To end this option for gift recipients, the Post Office Department began in 1879 to have sample stamps printed on card stock, which dignitaries received in small envelopes. The samples were so popular that the POD ordered five reprints, the last being in 1894.

$3 Columbus Describing His Third Voyage small die proof

National Postal Museum
Roosevelt album proofs

$3 Columbus Describing His Third Voyage block of four

National Postal Museum
Columbian Exposition issue

$3 Columbus Describing His Third Voyage card plate proof

National Postal Museum
Proof impression on card

Report describing the activities of the NCNW's Citizenship Education Project

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A seven (7) page document consisting of typewritten black ink on mimeograph paper, located between pages 30 and 31 of the scrapbook compiled by Frances Albrier (2010.60.1). The report describes the purpose, objective, and activities of the Citizenship Education Project. The report was written by Charles L. Tuner, Executive Secretary.

News clipping describing reasons why new voters had not previously registered

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This newspaper clipping from the San Francisco Sun-Reporter describes the reasons the 1,750 people who were registered during the San Francisco NCNW drive had not registered before. Multiple phrases are underlined in blue ink throughout the clipping. The clipping is adhered to the bottom half of page fourteen (14) in Frances Albrier's scrapbook (2010.60.1).

Paper describing events held by the San Francisco NCNW and Junior Council

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This typewritten piece of paper describes the "House to House" canvas and the "Telephone Unit" projects undertaken by the NCNW to get out the vote in the days before the November 6, 1956 election. The page tallies up the 56 activities that occurred as a part of the Citizenship Education Project. The clipping is taped on all four sides to the bottom third of page 31 in Frances Albrier's scrapbook (2010.60.1).

Anonymous Assiniboine drawings of pictographs describing a battle scene, ca. 1853

National Anthropological Archives
Various aspects of the drawing have been numbered 1-11.
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