As the museum grew through the 50th millennium and into the 51st, we began to acquire more culturally interesting items from ancient Earth history. This is a natural side effect of taking up residence on a planet few humans choose to live on despite its rich ties to the origin of their species; that is to say, no one justifiably complains when the Foundation treats an entire classical Earth city as an archaeological dig site.
This garment was in a locked trunk found in Pacifica, and was taken out only after extensive non-destructive scans indicated the trunk and its contents would not be harmed by breaking the seals (which, incidentally, turned out to be an adhesive polymer invented several thousand years after the construction of the trunk itself; which implies the two are either contemporaneous and the trunk was forged to seem like one from an earlier era, or it belonged to a member of the House; see our ‘Temporal Manipulation Artifacts’ exhibit on floor 142 for more on the House and its members).
Inside the trunk, a faded yellow upper garment with a black design placed using a process called “screen printing” was laid prominently atop other items. Our team believes the garment had been used to protect other, more fragile, objects in the trunk, noted elsewhere and placed in the appropriate exhibits inside the museum.
The “Smile Tee,” so named for the design’s vague resemblance to a human smile and the shirt’s shape to that of the Latin T, dates back to at least the 13th millennium HE and had been culturally ubiquitous for thousands of years until it all but vanished from the record.
In fact, the only reason we know how the garment was designed is because we have an indexical, if slightly fictionalized, account in the form of an entertainment medium from post-industrial, pre-Second Renaissance Terran history. The clip can be viewed in the ‘Smile Tee’ exhibit on floor 37, along with other examples of the design throughout history, and depicts a man rubbing his dirty face into a yellow shirt, creating the inspiration for the design itself.
For information on the contents of the trunk, index “Wells Trunk” and specify ‘contents’ for a complete list and locations.