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Smithsonian Collections has thousands of objects that help us tell the story of human migration and cultural interaction through American history.


Table by Peter Glass, 1868

Inlaid with more than thirty thousand pieces of wood, this tilt-top center table was created by German immigrant Peter Glass. As a farmer in Wisconsin, Glass applied his native training as a marquetry craftsman to make award-winning furniture in his spare time. The elaborate octagonal tabletop combines traditional European designs with patriotic American motifs, including portraits of U.S. military generals.


The El Chico Cookbook, 1977

Since the 1950s, demand has soared in the United States for cookbooks featuring diverse ethnic cuisines. Cookbooks not only provide instructions on how to prepare regional specialties, they often contain historical and cultural information about peoples and places. This cookbook is from the El Chico restaurant chain in the 1960s.