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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Tom Thumb's top hat, about 1865Tom Thumb's top hat, about 1865

When the Smithsonian began collecting popular culture artifacts in the 1970s and 1980s, curators looked for both contemporary and historical material. Tom Thumb's hat, purchased in 1985, represents "an early example of a true American star."

See also: Hats

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