National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

America's Lost Treasures: Los Angeles

Facts About the Artifacts in This Episode

Photo: 34-star American flag

Photo: 34-star American flag (View larger version)

Photograph by Original Productions


Antique Firearms

  • Starting in the late 18th century, the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts was the primary manufacturer of firearms for the United States military.

History of the American Flag

  • The last state to join the union was Hawaii in 1959.

  • The first state to join the union was Delaware in 1787.

  • A secret committee including General George Washington approached widow and upholsterer Betsy Ross in 1776 about creating a flag.  She was shown a rough diagram of a six-pointed star.  She quickly cut a five-pointed star and was then commissioned to sew the first American flag.

  • In September of 1814, during the War of 1812, soldiers at Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a key victory over British troops.  This inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song about broad stripes and bright stars that eventually became the United States’ national anthem.

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Fossils

  • During the Jurassic period, vegetation was more lush than in later eras.

  • The Stegosaur and Tyrannosaurus dinosaurs never met.  The Jurassic Stegosaur was extinct for about eighty million years before the Tyrannosaurus appeared during the Cretaceous period.

  • The fist reptiles appeared during the Paleozoic era, about 570 million years ago.

  • The first dinosaurs came much later, around 245 million years ago, during the Triassic period.

  • Many scientists now believe that one of the reasons dinosaurs became extinct was due to a meteorite hitting the earth at the end of the Cretaceous period.

  • The stegosaur weighed approximately four tons but is believed to have had a brain no larger than the size of a dog’s brain.

C-Melody Saxophone

  • Saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft was instrumental in making the C melody sax famous in the early 1920s.

Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb

  • In 1879, Thomas Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free light bulb glowed but did not last long.  He eventually created a bulb that could burn for 1500 hours.

  • Thomas Edison drew up 1,093 successful U.S. patent applications in his lifetime, the first when he was 21.