More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults. But where the public’s view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through the Smithsonian’s side door, telling stories that can’t be heard anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.
Top 10 Sidedoor Episodes
Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened
Love in the Time of Emoji
12/01/21 • 27 min
When LOL just isn't enough to respond to a friend's killer joke, emoji are there for you. But for many people, there isn't an emoji to represent them or the things they want to say. This has pushed activists, designers, and straight up regular folks to create their own emoji. It's not as easy an undertaking as you might think, but every now and then one of these new emoji is so innovative it breaks the digital mold and finds itself in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In this episode of Sidedoor, we explore how one groundbreaking emoji is changing digital representation and the future of museum collections.
The Fugitive Brewer
01/12/22 • 29 min
A skill for brewing beer and $100 reward for her capture. Those were the clues in an old newspaper ad that got Smithsonian brewing historian Theresa McCulla hooked on the story of Patsy Young, an enslaved African American woman who fled to freedom in 1808 and made a life for herself brewing beer. In this episode of Sidedoor, we follow McCulla as she scours historical documents to retrace Young's life and find out who she was...and what happened after her escape.
Theresa McCulla, Curator with the Smithsonian’s American Brewing History Initiative at the National Museum of American History
Mary Elliott, Curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Frank Clark, Master of Historic Foodways at Colonial Williamsburg
02/09/23 • 13 min
They bring out the voyeur in us. And the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art is full of them. In three short letters, we offer a glimpse of tender moments in the complex lives of others.
Josh T. Franco, Head of Collecting at the Archives of American Art.
Liza Kirwin, Interim Director of the Archives of American Art.
Jenny Williams, Associate Director for Advancement at the Archives of American Art.
Sumo Wrestlers vs. Firefighters
08/10/22 • 24 min
In 19th century Japan, two sumo wrestlers faced down dozens of firefighters in a brawl so epic it inspired a Kabuki play. But the story of what really happened —and who the heroes are— is all a matter of perspective. Underdogs, antiheroes and villains. How do we decide who plays what role?
Kit Brooks, Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
Frank Feltens, Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
02/09/22 • 35 min
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech is one of the most famous speeches in the world. But it almost didn’t happen. If you look at King's typed manuscript of his speech —which is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture— you won't find the phrase "I Have a Dream." But even though Dr. King's speech was improvised, that doesn't mean it wasn't years in the making. In this episode of Sidedoor, we trace the evolution of King's dream, from a secret friendship, to an experimental poem, to the speech we all know today.
Kevin Young, Director of Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
W. Jason Miller, Author of Origins of the Dream: Hughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric
Edison’s Demon Dolls
12/29/21 • 26 min
In 1890, Americans were delighted when they heard the news that Thomas Edison was using his phonograph technology to give voice to porcelain dolls. But their delight soon turned to horror. In this episode of Sidedoor, we’ll hear a short story that imagines what happens when two little girls receive one of Edison’s talking dolls as a holiday gift. And we’ll speak with an expert from the National Museum of American history to learn what went wrong with Edison’s invention.
The Artist Critics Love to Hate
06/02/21 • 31 min
LeRoy Neiman was a colorful man, both figuratively and literally. His handlebar mustache, long cigar, and sketchpad were fixtures at the sidelines of American pop culture: from boxing matches to jazz clubs and political conventions. His paintings, sketches, and prints papered the second half of the 20th century, highlighting American icons in his colorful expressionist style. He was rich, famous, and adored by many Americans... but not the art critics.
Outer Space & Underwear
03/04/20 • 28 min
In the Venn diagram of life, it’s hard to imagine what spacecraft and women’s underwear might have in common. And that’s probably what NASA engineers thought back in 1962 when they asked a handful of companies to design a spacesuit that would keep a man alive and mobile on the moon. Nobody counted on the International Latex Corporation, whose commercial brand, Playtex, was known for its bras and girdles. But lingerie, and the expert seamstresses who sewed it, played a critical role in those first well-supported steps on the moon.
02/10/21 • 33 min
If you’ve heard the phrase, “full blooded,” you’re already familiar with the concept of blood quantum. But Native Americans are the only peoples in the United States whose identity is defined by it. Through the photography of Tailyr Irvine, displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian, we take a look at the colonial origin story of blood quantum: where it came from, why it endures, and how it continues to impact the most personal decisions many Native Americans make about love and family today.
Tailyr Irvine’s Reservation Mathematics: Navigating Love in Native America exhibition link: https://americanindian.si.edu/developingstories/irvine.html
The Milkmaid Spy
04/01/20 • 28 min
Virginia Hall dreamed of being America’s first female ambassador. Instead, she became a spy. Joining the ranks of the U.S.’s first civilian spy network, she operated alone in occupied France, where she built French Resistance networks, delivered critical intelligence, and sold cheese to the enemy. All on one leg.
How many episodes does Sidedoor have?
Sidedoor currently has 168 episodes available.
What topics does Sidedoor cover?
The podcast is about Pop Culture, Washington, Society & Culture, History, Podcasts, Science and Dc.
What is the most popular episode on Sidedoor?
The episode title 'Love in the Time of Emoji' is the most popular.
What is the average episode length on Sidedoor?
The average episode length on Sidedoor is 26 minutes.
How often are episodes of Sidedoor released?
Episodes of Sidedoor are typically released every 14 days.
When was the first episode of Sidedoor?
The first episode of Sidedoor was released on Oct 25, 2016.
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