84 episodes

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

Sidedoor Smithsonian Institution

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6, 1.1K Ratings

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

    The Milkmaid Spy

    The Milkmaid Spy

    Virginia Hall dreamed of being America’s first female ambassador. Instead, she became a spy. Joining the ranks of the U.S.’s first civilian spy network, she operated alone in occupied France, where she built French Resistance networks, delivered critical intelligence, and sold cheese to the enemy. All on one leg.

    • 28 min
    The Last Man To Know It All

    The Last Man To Know It All

    Alexander von Humboldt might not be a name you know, but you can bet you know his ideas. Back when the United States were a wee collection of colonies huddled on the eastern seaboard, colonists found the wilderness surrounding them *scary. *It took a zealous Prussian explorer with a thing for barometers to show the colonists what they couldn’t see: a global ecosystem, and their own place in nature. In this episode, we learn how Humboldt - through science and art - inspired a key part of America’s national identity.

    • 27 min
    Outer Space & Underwear

    Outer Space & Underwear

    In the Venn diagram of life, it’s hard to imagine what spacecraft and women’s underwear might have in common. And that’s probably what NASA engineers thought back in 1962 when they asked a handful of companies to design a spacesuit that would keep a man alive and mobile on the moon. Nobody counted on the International Latex Corporation, whose commercial brand, Playtex, was known for its bras and girdles. But lingerie, and the expert seamstresses who sewed it, played a critical role in those first well-supported steps on the moon.

    • 28 min
    We're Back!

    We're Back!

    Get ready for season five! Our new season begins on Wednesday, March 4th. Journey with Lizzie through our many side doors for a behind-the scenes view of the Smithsonian.

    • 2 min
    Cars, Stars, and Rock 'n' Roll

    Cars, Stars, and Rock 'n' Roll

    Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III is no administrative assistant. He’s the head of the largest museum, education, and research complex in the world. He’s also the first historian to lead the Smithsonian. In our season finale, we talk with Secretary Bunch about two stories of people overcoming tremendous obstacles to make a change and explore what the past can teach us about today…and tomorrow.  

    • 29 min
    Ponzi's Scheme

    Ponzi's Scheme

    Nearly 100 years ago, Charles Ponzi stumbled across a loophole in the international postal system and turned it into one of the most infamous scams of all time. This time on Sidedoor, we follow Ponzi from his early days until his epic downfall, and hear from a postal investigator trained to catch swindlers like Ponzi who continue to use the U.S. mail for nefarious purposes.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

jlpbacon ,

Fantastic storytelling

What a great podcast! It is well researched and woven into a beautiful little present that I always look forward to opening! Lizzie does a fabulous job interviewing and then sharing these fantastic stories that always keep me wanting more. Thank you thank you for all your hard work putting these together.

MissElla02 ,

A museum for your ears

An incredible, diverse podcast. Every episode is fascinating in a unique way, and delves into a different facet of the global history found at the Smithsonian Institution. It’s beautifully mixed, and the storytelling is excellent and immersive. It’s like a museum you can listen to— highly recommend!

sghkdk ,

Next best thing to visiting

I’m and avid podcast listener, and a fan of the magnificent Smithsonian Institution (the second best idea in America), and Sidedoor is a gem—almost as good as roaming the galleries of those wonderful museums. Great job!

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