Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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Apparatus Room in the Smithsonian Institution Building, by Unknown, 1857, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-2394 or 43804-G.

August 1, 1848

The chemical and physical apparatus of Dr. Robert Hare of the University of Pennsylvania is presented by him to the Smithsonian Institution. They are placed on display in the Smithsonian Castle. Secretary Joseph Henry hopes the gift will set a precedent for other potential donors and sees it as supportive of his plan for the Institution.More

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