Photo credit Bead Museum of Greater Washington
The Bead Society of Greater Washington was founded in 1983, with just 12 members, as a forum for studying and disseminating knowledge about beads. The society quickly grew a 500 member group which organizes two yearly international bead conferences, and has a newsletter, and research library. In 1995, the Bead Museum was founded in Washington, DC and it is in this museum that the Bead Timeline of History is a permanent display.
This fabulous exhibition at the Bead Museum displays more than 2,000 original beads that exemplify the diversity of world cultures and beadmaking technologies. The Timeline takes up a huge 35 feet, and is mounted geographically in broad world regions from prehistory to the present. It is also arranged chronologically in flexible sections that can be changed as new beads are acquired. The exhibit is a work in progress, since it is periodically expanded as new gifts are received by the museum.
For more info, please visit the Bead Society website. They also have a book for sale which outlines the Time Line of Beads from Prehistory to the present day.