Thursday, September 17, 2015

National Museum of American History: Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910

Date of Visit: September 16, 2015

The "Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910" exhibit features examples of science fiction literature and explores how developments in science influenced fiction. It was interesting how it was organized by chapters with each featuring some examples of different types of science fiction, such as Chapter 1: Terra Incognita about unknown lands and Chapter 5: Rise of Machines that included Tik Tok from the Oz books. Mik particularly enjoyed looking at the various illustrations that were on display.

Destination Info:
National Museum of American History
1400 Constitution Ave NW
Washington DC

Metro Accessibility Note: Closest metro station is Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange/Silver). Smithsonian (Blue/Orange/Silver) is often also recommended as nearby for this museum and if you take the escalator exit it probably is closer or same distance as Federal Triangle, but the elevator is several blocks further, so Federal Triangle is definitely closest if you are exiting Metro via elevator. Of course, we are always partial to Archives (Yellow/Green) since it's a shorter train ride for us to take Yellow instead of Blue into D.C. and it's only a little more walking.

National Archives: Spirited Republic Exhibit

Date of Visit: September 16, 2015

Now that summer is over and the crowds are slim to none again, we finally got to the National Archives to see the "Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History" temporary exhibit. While the exhibit was a good brief timeline history of alcohol in American history with most of the focus on temperance and the Prohibition era, it was overall kind of disappointing.

I guess we mainly were disappointed because we tend to find the temporary exhibits here very interesting and this time it wasn't anything new to learn. However, it also seemed kind of limited in artifacts on display. Obviously as an Archives exhibit, the majority of items on display are always documents, but there is still usually more variety to types of documents along with artifacts either from the Archives collection or on loan from other places (often Smithsonian). This time it just seemed very heavy on letters and in particular it seems there could've been more of the patent and advertisement things. There were some items, but it was mainly just a drunkometer, which was actually very interesting.

Still worth a quick visit to the National Archives, especially since there was pretty much no other visitors making it easy to see everything at your own pace even if there really wasn't that much to see.

Destination Info:
National Archives
Constitution Ave NW (between 7th & 9th Avenue)
Washington, DC