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May 1, 2012 – October 25, 2012
American History Museum
12th and Constitution Ave., NW
Location: 1st Floor, West Wing
See popular culture and math-related objects from the collections and enjoy hands-on activities. On view are entertainment artifacts from the 1950s and early 1960s, including a Superman costume; a Howdy Doody marionette; the Lone Ranger’s mask and silver bullet; puppets from Captain Kangaroo; and characters from Sam and Friends, the precursor to the Muppets, including the first Kermit the Frog. Music items on view include one of Patsy Cline’s costumes; fan magazines featuring Elvis, the Beatles, and Alvin and the Chipmunks; and 45-RPM records highlighting Little Richard, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, and Brenda Lee.
A case at the gallery entrance features objects used to teach children arithmetic from the late 1890s to today. Objects include flash cards, early calculators, and other math games and toys.
Visitors can also draw their own comics on a “graffiti” wall, watch 1950s- and 1960s-era commercials, and play with toys from the same era, including Mr. Potato Head and Etch-A-Sketch.