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February 22, 2020
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The True History of the Aeronauts Who Transformed Our View of the World Above | History

Smithsonian
Near the beginning of the new film The Aeronauts, a giant gas-filled balloon called the “Mammoth” departs from London’s Vauxhall Gardens and ascends into the clouds, revealing a bird’s eye view of London. To some moviegoers, these breathtaking views might seem like nothing special: Modern air travel has made many......
History

Did Francis Drake Really Land in California? | History

Smithsonian
Few sea voyages are as famous as that of the Golden Hind, privateer Francis Drake’s around-the-world voyage that ended with his arrival into England’s Plymouth harbor in 1580. Along with being a remarkable feat of seamanship, the world’s second circumnavigation, among other achievements, was the first to map large portions......
History

Why Don’t People Smile in Old Photographs? And More Questions From Our Readers | At the Smithsonian

Smithsonian
Q: Why don’t people smile in old photographs? — Art Ross | Kingwood, Texas Although we tend to think the subjects had to hold their faces still for an uncomfortably long time, exposures from the early days of commercial photography only lasted about 5 to 15 seconds. The real reason......

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