Admission is free on Presidents Day (Feb. 20) and George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22). Admission tickets will be distributed on-site upon arrival; a limited number of tickets are available.

Classroom Tips

Washington's interest in science and mechanics can be seen through his purchasing of this chair. While in Philadelphia attending the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he purchased a fan chair. Its current whereabouts are unknown, but this version likely resembles the original. Invented in 1786 for artist Charles Willson Peale by John Cram. The chair consisted of pedals below the sitter's feet that moved the fan suspended above the chair. Peale hoped it would be "useful to the studious and others that are obliged to sit at their employments . . . to keep them cool. . . ." Washington installed his chair in his study, most likely for the convenience of the private secretaries who he employed to organize his military and plantation records.

Classroom Materials downloads are ZIP files that include, when available: document images (JPEGs), document transcripts (PDF as well as Word and/or Excel files), and ready to use classroom resources (activities, discussion prompts, lesson plans, etc.). These materials are available for educational uses only. If you would like to reproduce them in any other medium, please contact Dawn Bonner, Manager of Visual Resources.


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