Planning a #research trip to #DC? Check out what I learned during my trip to the #NationalArchives in College Park

For the past year I have been working on a research project that spans the continent and reaches overseas so, while a major chunk of the action happens in Chicago, the investigation fell under…

The perfect gift for a little paleontologist or archaeologist! Fossil Hunter Lottie doll:…/c…/fossil-hunter-lottie-doll.html

Buy Fossil Hunter Lottie - a positive role model for children - from the Natural History Museum online shop

The New Yorker: Environmentalism’s Racist History #green #racism #history

For early conservationists, it was an unsettlingly short step from managing forests to managing the human gene pool.

What do you think? Should tour guides be required to know history? #savannah #historytravel

Before they can legally take paying customers sightseeing in Savannah, local tour guides must first pass a 100-question test on the city's history, key lan

Queen Elizabeth II: Royal Witness to History #royals #history

With 63 years on the throne, her reign has seen its share of defining moments.

Archaeologists Find Viking Families Among Skeletons in Northern Iceland

Skeletons from a Viking Age site in northern Iceland are giving archaeologists new data about inherited osteoarthritis, causing them to rewrite our understanding of early Icelandic families.

Have you all been following the news about Roanoke? Has it really been found? #lostandfound #history

Archaeological finds in North Carolina may provide clues to the fate of at least some of the Roanoke Island colonists who vanished in the late 1500s.

Digging back 250 years on the St. Louis riverfront to better learn who we are #archaeology #MidwestHistory

In late November 1922, in the Valley of the Kings across the Nile from Luxor, Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter, accompanied by his patron, the

Would you prefer to learn through objects or books? Treasure trove illustrates Los Angeles history through objects

What can we learn about Los Angeles history from an object that looks like a metal plunger, or maybe a large cooking pot, with a pipe rising out of its lid?

With all the news about closing museums of late, it's nice to hear about a new addition: The Museum of Manuscripts

Historic manuscripts bring viewers closer to important figures

Cool! EVENTS: Volunteers needed for archaeological investigation #illinoisarchaeology #getyourdigon

CAMPTON HILLS — Garfield Farm Museum is looking for volunteers to help with its second archaeological research program of the summer Hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays thru Sundays, Aug. 12 to...

Even more beer Chicago beer history!

The number of breweries declined in the first half of the 20th century faster than you can say the word “chug.” The number was already on the way down at the turn of the century, but Prohibition and...

New Blog Post! If you liked last weeks post (or even if you didn't) you'll love the beautiful ephemera in this one!…/5aq8ac08ref95v0gxuhqxkn2k5mncl

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New Blog Post! Like beer? Love history? Then you'll probably dig what I found at the National Archives in Chicago this summer!…/9w0l5l5v6ndih5g20p8hf367fz2qpp

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Super creepy and yet super cool. What do you think would you want one of these in your house?

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National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Talking dolls are spooky, but perhaps none more so than the ones created by the Thomas Edison Company over a century ago.

In the late 1880s, Thomas Edison and collaborators created the world's first talking doll, and you can see one now at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's new permanent exhibition "American Enterprise."

The doll proved to be one of Edison's commercial failures. They were expensive, hard to understand, and fairly fragile. After losing money on the invention, Edison called the dolls his “little monsters.”

The story behind this doll is Smithsonian Magazine article, "The Epic Failure of Thomas Edison's Talking Doll," which you can read online at…/epic-failure-thomas-edison…/ -- and hear the dolls' recordings fully and eerily restored. You can read more about the history of Edison Talking Doll Recordings, 1888-1890 that is on the website of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park at…/edison-talking-doll-recordings-1888-18….

Assisting in telling the story of the Edison talking doll were the staff of the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project ( at Rutgers University, one of the most ambitious editing projects ever undertaken by an American university. For decades, the 5 million pages of documents that chronicle the extraordinary life and achievements of Thomas Alva Edison remained hidden and inaccessible to members of the general public. Since the massive project began in 1978, a team of editors/scholars has been turning this incomparable trove of Edisonia into a premier educational resource, with the assistance of grants from the NHPRC.

To access the Finding Aid and digitized image of the Document File Series -- 1889: (D-89-64) Phonograph -- Talking Doll
[D8964], go to…&.

This folder contains correspondence, reports, and other documents concerning the manufacture and promotion of Edison's talking doll. Many of the documents pertain to the organization and management of the Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Co. Included also are letters requesting dolls or asking for information about them.

Image from the National Park Service of Edison Talking Doll Credit: Joan & Robin Rolfs

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Perhaps if young Thomas Granger had been more discreet, more circumspect, his name would have long since vanished in the mists of history. But in Puritan times, his unusual crime so offended his community that it warranted the harshest of punishments.

Check out this guest post I wrote for The NextGen Genealogy Network over on their blog all about holding a successful oral history interview.

You probably already know that conducting an interview with a family member can help to paint a more complete picture of your family history. What you may not know is some of the techniques that the pros use to make sure that the interview is productive and results in a useful addition to available…