Breakfast in the Archives!

Every now and then when looking through a box of photographs in our holdings, a new potential "thread" of information will present itself that sparks curiosity for further research on a particular keyword. Sometimes it's a subject or topic directly relating to the reference request I am working on, and sometimes it is completely random. Recently, the word "Breakfast" popped into my head and immediately following was the thought: I wonder what we have on that!

Spotlight: Saving Time with “A Step Saving Kitchen”

Since many of us have been spending more time in our kitchens cooking lately, we thought this would be a good time to highlight the film A Step Saving Kitchen (16-P-1783).  It comes from the Records of the Department of Agriculture, in the series "Public Information and Training Motion Picture and Television Productions, 1990 – … Continue reading Spotlight: Saving Time with “A Step Saving Kitchen”

The Great Archival Cooking Challenge

As you may remember from NARA's exhibit "What's Cooking Uncle Sam", there are records related to food throughout the holdings of the National Archives! As a spring treat, Special Media staff decided to try out some of these historical recipes. We thought about sticking to the recipes in series from the Still Picture Branch - … Continue reading The Great Archival Cooking Challenge

Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Ever wonder what people of the past were munching on? Well, in WWI, due to food rationing efforts, they were munching on some classic desserts made with unusual ingredient substitutions. Check out some of those experimental recipes below, courtesy of RG 4-G: the U.S. Food Administration. Unfortunately, not all of the experimental recipes survive today. Here is a … Continue reading Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Spotlight: War Time Candies

Imagine a world where no one could give chocolates to their valentine, or send holiday cookies to their family, or hand out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters, or indulge in some after dinner Thanksgiving pie. Imagine a world where every cherished culinary tradition is threatened - especially those traditions which include sweets. Well, such a world is not as far away as one might … Continue reading Spotlight: War Time Candies

Spotlight: American Cities

This week's images are streetscapes of American cities from 1917 and 1918. Images were pulled from RG 4-G: U.S.Food Administration. Do you recognize any of these places? Can you imagine walking along these streets during WWI?     For more on WWI era food rationing, see "Spotlight: War Time Candies" and "Spotlight: Baking in WWI."

Spotlight: The Making of Coffee

Coffee is a morning staple for many of us. The gurgle of the coffee pot; the ceramic warmth of a favorite mug; the rich aroma of caffeinated bliss... Yes, whether we make it ourselves or buy it from our friendly neighborhood baristas, coffee is culturally pervasive. And it has been for generations. But have you ever wondered about … Continue reading Spotlight: The Making of Coffee

Father’s Day Gift Suggestions from the Patent Files

Need a last-minute gift idea for Dear Old Dad? Whatever Dad's hobby or interest, patent files are full of quirky gems. The largest selection is in the series Utility Patent Drawings, 1837 - 1911 NAID 305888 among the Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, Record Group 241, but there are patent drawings in other series, including court … Continue reading Father’s Day Gift Suggestions from the Patent Files

Happy Mother’s Day from the National Archives!

To the women who play with us: Teach us: Keep us well and well-fed: Who work: Multi-task: And to mamas of pets: Happy Mother's Day

Spotlight: Eggs through the Ages

The annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn - a longstanding American tradition. Maybe you're planning to hunt them down, dye them brilliantly, roll them across the White House Lawn - or maybe you're just hoping to get through the next two weeks with as few boiled eggs in your life as humanly possible. Whatever the case may be, it is … Continue reading Spotlight: Eggs through the Ages