Every Collection has a Story. The 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.  

This searches the Archives’ collection summaries, digitized media, and historic annotations.

Second Exhibition of the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute

February 8, 1855

The Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building is opened to the public, occupied by the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute fair. Secretary Joseph Henry is the president of the Institute.

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