Record Unit 241, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Smithsonian Chemist, Records, 1880-1883
The Office of the Smithsonian Chemist appears to have been officially created about 1876. Prior to that time, the Institution maintained informal relations with a number of chemists, who had use of the Smithsonian's facilities to carry out their own work as well as some done for the Institution. Most of this work dealt with composition of minerals or with queries from government departments. Frederick W. Taylor served as the Smithsonian's chemist from 1877 until 1884, when he resigned. The Office was abolished, and the United States Geological Survey performed chemical work in the Smithsonian as needed.