Agency history, 1938-

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Creator

National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Medicine and Science

Subject

  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • Multhauf, Robert P
  • Perry, Kenneth M
  • Mitman, Carl Weaver 1889-
  • Finn, Bernard S. 1932-
  • Forman, Paul
  • King, W. James (William James) 1915-
  • United States National Museum Division of Engineering Section of Electricity and Communications
  • United States National Museum Division of Engineering Section of Electricity
  • Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Electricity
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Electricity and Nuclear Energy
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Electricity and Modern Physics

Category

Agency History

Notes

  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives, 1996
  • The Division of Electricity and Modern Physics traces its origins back to 1938. In that year a Section of Electricity and Communications was established in the United States National Museum's Department of Engineering and Industries, Division of Engineering. In 1947 it became the Section of Electricity; in 1958, the Division of Electricity. In 1969 the Division was renamed the Division of Electricity and Nuclear Energy, which became the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics in 1978; and later, in 1995, the Division of Information Technology and Society. In 2009 the curatorial staff of the Division of Information Technology and Society was disbanded, with modern physics becoming part of the Division of Medicine and Science and electricity transferred to the Division of Work and Industry.
  • Curators have included Frank A. Taylor, Curator in charge, 1938-1947; Carl Weaver Mitman (acting) 1943-1946; Kenneth M. Perry, Associate Curator, 1948-1955; W. James King, Jr., Associate Curator, 1956-1958, Curator (acting), 1958-1960; Robert P. Multhauf, Curator (acting), 1961-1962; Bernard S. Finn, Associate Curator, 1963-1964, Curator, 1965-2005, and Curator Emeritus, 2005- ; and Paul Forman, Associate Curator, 1972-1975, Curator, 1976-2012.
  • For many years the Division's interest lay in applications of electricity such as Aaron Vail's telegraph and the industrial system which grew from the ready availability of electric power. More recently it has turned its attention to nuclear energy and the broader effects of modern physics on society.
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520

Date

  • 1938
  • 1938-

Topic

  • Physics
  • History
  • Nuclear energy
  • Electricity
  • Electricity--History
  • Physics--History

Form/Genre

Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00082