You are here:
Palace of Progress > Nineteenth-century Collections
| ||Synoptic series representing the invention of spindles, shuttles, and looms, National Museum, about 1890
This exhibit case depicting the history of textile manufacture is a typical synoptic series. On the far left in each of the three horizontal series is the most "primitive" example of the type. On the far right is a recent invention in the field from contemporary American industry. Looking from left to right, museum visitors could see each of the major advances, with examples drawn from China, Central America, Peru, Tibet, Finland, Germany, and the United States. Smithsonian curators believed that this kind of arrangement showed a fundamental truth about the progressive nature of technology while bringing together related artifacts in one case.
Return to the Legacies Home Page