Travel with us to the surface of the moon, the center of the earth, and the depths of the ocean – to the fantastic worlds of fiction inspired by 19th century discovery and invention.
New frontiers of science were emerging. We took to the air, charted remote corners of the earth, and harnessed the power of steam and electricity. We began unlocking the secrets of the natural world. The growing literate middle class gave science a new and avid public audience. Writers explored the farther reaches of the new scientific landscape to craft hoaxes, satires and fictional tales.
Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 is the first exhibition to debut in the newly renovated Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery in the National Museum of American History.