Firsts

Stories from the Vaults: Firsts

Enter the vaults of the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum in search of earth-shattering firsts. From a new collection of vintage planes to the very first videogame (hint: it wasn't Pong), Tom discovers what it takes to claim the title of Number One.

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An Illuminating First

The Smithsonian's collection of Thomas Edison's gadgets proves that the inventor was thinking way beyond the bulb.

There's MORE to the story. Discover the inspirations, see the artifacts and meet the experts of the Smithsonian Institution.

  • AMERICA BY AIR

    Interested in learning more about commercial aviation?" Visit the National Air and Space Museum's online exhibit "America by Air."

    Connect to Smithsonian: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

  • OUT OF THE VAULTS

    For this episode of Stories from the Vaults, the staff of the National Museum of American History made a very special acception for inventor Ralph Baer. They agreed to let him run one of the video games in the collection. Read Petrina Foti's blog to learn more about the taking the objects out of the vaults.

    Connect to Smithsonian: Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

  • BEYOND BRIGHT

    Thomas Edison's 1879 carbon filament bulb is part of the National Museum of American History's collections, but his process of invention is much larger than that little bulb. Learn more about Edison the inventor in "Lighting a Revolution."

    Connect to Smithsonian: Smithsonian's National Museum of American History