May 19, 2009
UPDATED 06.13.09: Comments have now been closed. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winner of the caption contest.
It’s that time of the month again – time for the ATM caption-writing contest! You should know the deal by now, kids. We provide you a historical photograph ripe for the mocking from our deep, dark Smithsonian vaults, and you, our beloved readers, provide the witty captions to describe what might be going on in the picture. Easy as pie, right?
We’ll even give you a few to get the party started:
“It’s MY clubhouse and YOU can’t come in!”
“Well, if we can’t drill off the coast of Alaska, why not drill on the moon?”
“Now that I’ve finished papering your spaceship, Mr. Johnson, would you like to discuss your laminate flooring options?”
Think you can do better and make milk shoot out of our collective noses? Let’s hear from you! Just make sure you submit your entry by Friday, June 12. We’ll be revealing the winning caption (along with the true story behind the photograph) that afternoon. And what does the victorious effort receive? A hearty virtual handshake from the Smithsonian, of course!
April 17, 2009
The votes have been counted and the winner is:
“He couldn’t hide all the skeletons in his closet.”
Thank you T. Faundo for submitting the top entry.
Besides our admiration, the winner receives a free subscription to Smithsonian.com. Log on anytime, along with all the rest of you.
Think the closets in the photo makes the winning caption just so-so? Vote for your favorite entry below:
In case you were curious, the man in the photo is T. Dale Stewart. He was captured on October 3, 1950, attending to his day to day duties as a physical anthropology curator at the National Museum of Natural History.
Stewart was a familiar face at the Smithsonian Institution from 1924 until his death at 96-years-old in 1997. According to his obituary in the New York Times, in 1960, Stewart “reported that evidence had been found that early modern man had lived side by side with Neanderthals in the Middle East.” A point that has not been solidly proven, but is generally accepted in the scientific community.
The cabinets in the photograph still remain in the Smithsonian, containing thousands of skeletons collected by Stewart and his successors.
April 13, 2009
Can you think of a witty caption for the above photograph? As the contest comes to a close, we’ve already received some entertaining submissions, like….
“Nope, this one’s not Walt Disney, either,” by Jim.
“In his excitement at finding Curley’s shrunken head, he did not notice he had become surrounded by Larry and Moe,” by RPi.
You have until Wednesday evening, April 15, to submit your entries. The winner will be announced (along with the true story behind the photograph) on Friday morning. There is no prize, but how many times can you say you’ve won a caption contest.
April 1, 2009
Up for some good, clean April Fool’s Day fun? Play a prank on the above photograph, pulled from the Smithsonian Archives and the Institution’s historical past, by conjuring a caption of utmost wit and hilarity. What do you think is going on here? Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
“Thrilled with their newly-installed footlights, the librarians’ amateur Shakespeare theater troupe kicked off the season with unprecedented flair.”
“Alas, poor Yorrick…”
“With everyone gone for the night, Jim the file clerk vicariously lived out his pipe dream of being the next Sir Lawrence Olivier.”
Okay, so all I’m coming up with is Shakespeare cracks. Flex your funny bone and enter your creative captions in the comments area below. You have until April 15 (Tax Day) to submit your ideas. The winner will be announced (along with the true story behind the photograph) that afternoon. For a prize, the winner will receive bragging rights and an elevated sense of self-appreciation. We look forward to hearing from you!
March 11, 2009
Okay, so we’re a little late in announcing the winner of our caption writing contest. (Sorry! Even we get a little sidetracked from time to time.) To refresh our heads, here is the photo:
And here is the winning caption: “After the success of the Horse, the Greeks decided to try the Trojan Hippo,” by Christine. Congratulations Christine! You have won water cooler bragging rights!
So, what is really going on in this picture?
Old Mom was a 5,000 pound hippo who lived at the National Zoo and departed this world on February 4, 1930. Taxidermist William L. Brown (above, far right) had been observing and sketching Old Mom for a period of twenty years before he was faced with the daunting task of tanning and preparing a hippo for museum exhibition. Old Mom went on display in 1934 and this buxom beauty can still be seen at the Natural History Museum—not to mention the January 2003 issue of Smithsonian.
What did you think of our contestants for this caption writing contest? Here are our top four picks. Vote for which one you think should have nabbed the top spot.