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The American Heritage Gallery at Epcot

The World Showcase in Epcot has many points of interest worth seeing that never show up on any attraction list.  One such place is The American Heritage Gallery in the America Pavilion.

The America Heritage Gallery
Housed within the America Pavilion, The America Heritage Gallery is a mini museum filled with artifacts of a diverse collection of people who contributed greatly to American history.  You will see displays representing famous American inventors, astronauts, authors, politicians, reformists, and actors. 

The America Heritage Gallery is a walk through attraction that gets little publicity.  You actually have to go through the entrance to the American Adventure Attraction in order to see the Gallery.  You can walk through the American Heritage Gallery without viewing the attraction. 

Thomas Edison
Inventor Thomas Edison is represented by 3 of his inventions on display.  There is a Tinfoil Phonograph (pictured above) from 1878 - 1879.  There is also an example of a Kinetophone and a Kinetoscope.  The Kinetoscope was a way of watching moving pictures before modern motion pictures were invented.  Inside a cabinet a strip of film passed rapidly by a lighted shutter giving the illusion of movement.

Astronauts - Glenn, Herrington, & Apollo 16
There are several authentic artifacts from American Astronauts: John Glenn, John Herrington, and the Apollo 16 mission.
John Glenn's Jacket from his Space Shuttle mission when he was 77 years old is on display as well as his helmet from his earlier days during his flight aboard Friendship 7 when he became the first American to orbit the earth.

John Herrington's flute that he played during his Space Shuttle mission aboard the Endeavor.  Herrington, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American to fly in space.

 A moon rock collected during the Apollo 16 mission from 1972 is shown here and dedicated to the memory of Virgil "Gus" Grissom as a tribute to our nation's brave pioneers of space exploration.

Harriet Beecher Stowe And Frederick Douglas
Writing from Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglas are also on display.  Stowe was most well known for writing Uncle Tom's Cabin and an early copy of the classic novel is on display.  There are several items penned by Frederick Douglas including a letter that he wrote to Abraham Lincoln.

Mark Twain And Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of America is represented by a couple of different items.  The first of which is the Queen Anne's Chair pictured above.  This chair which was produced in 1748 by renowned cabinetmaker Solomon Russell.  It was one of two matching chairs that Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah used in their Philadelphia home.

There is also a letter penned by Benjamin Franklin in 1783 while he was America's Ambassador to France.  His mission at the time was to negotiate the Treaty Of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.

 Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, is represented by some of his writing tools, a Pen & Case from 1880, and an inkwell from the late 1800's.  You can also see a Top Hat of his from around 1910.  The box is the lower part of the picture is a humidor where he may have stored some of his trademark cigars.

Will Rogers
Actor and showman Will Rogers is represented by some of his famous cowboy tools: Boots, Chaps, Saddle, Hat, and Lasso.  Known for his ability with the lasso, it was interesting to learn that as a boy on his family's ranch a freed slave taught him how to use a lasso to rope cattle.

Beyond The Expected
Throughout Epcot and especially in the World Showcase there are many examples of Galleries and displays that don't show up on anyone's list of must see attractions, but are worthwhile to explore nonetheless.

The American Heritage Gallery is an interesting look at some authentic American artifacts, whether you choose to browse them while waiting for the next showing of the American Adventure or you decide to escape the heat or rain and stumble upon it.  Regardless the reason, take the time to visit and check out this educational display.

3 comments to "The American Heritage Gallery at Epcot"

  1. Ken B. says:

    Hey Jamie-

    That's one of my favorite things at the American Adventure or anywhere else in the World Showcase. Thanks for posting it.


  2. Mark Longmire says:

    "Virgil "Gus" Grissom lends a moon rock collected during his Apollo 16 mission from 1972."

    Hate to tell you this, but Gus Grissom died in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire. Needless to say, he never made it to the moon. Perhaps you are confusing his name with his Gemini III copilot, John Young, who was the commander of Apollo 16?

  3. Mark - You are correct. The moon rock was actually gathered by the crew of Apollo 16 in 1972 and presented as a tribute to the memory of Virgil "Gus" Grissom as a hero of space exploration.

    Thank you for catching this error. The article has been corrected.

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