Rare Portrait of a Young Harriet Tubman Is on View at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shared with the Library of Congress
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shared with the Library of Congress

If you've ever seen a picture of Harriet Tubman, there's a good chance it was taken when she was in her fifties or older. As Smithsonian reports, this is partly what makes a newly unveiled photo of a 40-something Tubman so remarkable.

The image, which was part of Quaker abolitionist Emily Howland's photo album from the 1860s, has gone on public display for the first time at the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where it will be permanently displayed. The museum and the Library of Congress jointly bought the album from Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shared with the Library of Congress

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shared with the Library of Congress

Portraits of other abolitionists and notable people also appear in the album, but museum founding director Lonnie Bunch told Smithsonian he was particularly "stunned" by the image of a young Tubman. "All of us had only seen images of her at the end of her life. She seemed frail. She seemed bent over, and it was hard to reconcile the images of Moses (one of Tubman's nicknames) leading people to freedom," Bunch said.

"But then when you see this picture of her, probably in her early forties, taken about 1868 or 1869 … there's a stylishness about her. And you would have never had me say to somebody 'Harriet Tubman is stylish.'"

The photo was taken not long after the Civil War had ended. By that point in her life, Tubman had already achieved a great deal: After escaping the plantation where she was enslaved, she helped hundreds of others navigate their way to freedom via the Underground Railroad. She also served as a spy for the Union Forces and became the first woman to lead a raid during the Civil War, on which occasion she freed 700 slaves in South Carolina.

Bunch said the photo of Tubman is not only striking, but also illustrates the ways in which average Americans can change the course of history. "It reminds people that someone like Harriet Tubman was an ordinary person who did extraordinary things," Bunch said. "So, this means you too can change the world."

The album also contains an image of Charles Dickens and the only known photograph of John Willis Menard, the first black man elected to Congress.

[h/t Smithsonian]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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13 Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions

Would you fly in this?
Would you fly in this?

As it turns out, being destroyed by the very thing you create is not only applicable to the sentient machines and laboratory monsters of science fiction.

In this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy takes us on a sometimes tragic, always fascinating journey through the history of invention, highlighting 13 unfortunate innovators whose brilliant schemes brought about their own demise. Along the way, you’ll meet Henry Winstanley, who constructed a lighthouse in the English Channel that was swept out to sea during a storm … with its maker inside. You’ll also hear about stuntman Karel Soucek, who was pushed from the roof of the Houston Astrodome in a custom-designed barrel that landed off-target, fatally injuring its occupant.

And by the end of the episode, you just might be second-guessing your secret plan to quit your day job and become the world’s most daredevilish inventor.

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