Office in U.S. National Museum

ID: 2002-10681 and MAH-6079

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. late 1800s

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder 19

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  • An office located in the U.S. National Museum Building, now the Arts and Industries Building, shows bookcases, cuspidor and three men seated at desks, around the late 1800s. One man has his back to the camera and one man is leaning back in his chair reading with his feet up on the desk. Note that the ceiling light fixture is missing a shade. There is a "portable" gas lamp on top of the cabinet, left corner of the room. It has a rubber hose attached to it that fits onto the burner jet of the chandelier allowing for the lamp to be used on the desk top. They were fairly common and were sold en-suite with chandeliers.
  • The press on the window sill is either a book press or a letter press for making copies of handwritten letters. The bookcase is one of the ones that were on the balcony of the Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building after the exhibit cases were removed and the balcony was used for laboratories. The large framed picture (right rear) was from Spencer Fullerton Baird's Castle first floor office when he was Assistant Secretary. It is titled "Flora of the Rocky Mountains."


  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum
  • Arts and Industries Building


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The original negative number is MAH-6079.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder 19

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. late 1800s

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Office Space
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Photographic print
  • Interior

ID Number

2002-10681 and MAH-6079

Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Interior; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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