Typically, the structure houses the exhibition; at the Smithsonian's "Within These Walls ..." the structure is the exhibition.
The largest artifact in the National Museum of American History, this Georgian-style, 2 1/2-story house was built about 1760 in Ipswich, Mass., some 30 miles from Boston. During the next two centuries, it was home to, among others, wealthy colonists, participants in the American Revolution, reformers who were active in the abolitionist movement, late-19th century immigrant mill workers, and a family practicing the frugality and sacrifice typical of many households during World War II.
Curators have re-created rooms representative of these disparate eras.
"Within These Walls ..." is on view daily at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Dec. 25. For more information, call 202-357-2700 or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
Sawing sans cord
Another cordless reciprocating saw is hitting the market -- this time, Black & amp; Decker's 14.4-volt Firestorm Cordless Cut Saw.
This model features the Quick Clamp system for "tool-free" blade changing; a variable-speed trigger that controls the speed of the saw; an electric brake that stops the blade upon the release of the trigger; and a rotating shoe that fits tightly against the cutting surface to make straight cuts.
It weighs just 6 pounds. The price is $114.99 and it's available at home centers.
Let's avoid the obvious puns about canines and the dog days of summer. But animals also wilt in the heat, and many ingenious devices provide them greater comfort in the stifling summers.
The canine cabana -- not unlike an outdoor canopy bed for dogs -- offers shade and more air flow than a typical bed. With its aluminum frame, the cabana suspends its fabric base a few inches above the ground, and extends its hood of tear- and mildew-resistant fabric over the pooch; the manufacturer claims that the temperature within the cabana can be as much as 15 degrees lower than without.
The canine cabana is available for $44 at www.inthecompanyofdogs.com; small and large "cool pad" cushions (the former fits the cabana) are available for $40 and $60 respectively.