Fire Damages Computer Exhibit at NMHT

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Summary

A short-circuit in a computer terminal sparked a fire in the computer exhibit at the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History. The fire, which was discovered by workmen c. 5 a.m., did over $1 million in damage to the exhibit and computer equipment. There was additional smoke and water damage to the nearby Puppet Theater, coins and stamp exhibit, and graphic arts exhibit.

Subject

  • Division of Numismatics
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • Puppet Theater
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) Hall of Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Hall of Monetary History and Medallic Art (Exhibition) (1961: United States National Museum)

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Washington Post article includes photograph of damage.
  • Lewis, Alfred E. "Fire at Smithsonian Museum Destroys Computer Exhibit." The Washington Post, 1 October 1970, p. C4.
  • "Fire Damages Smithsonian." New York Times, 1 October 1970, p. 32.

Contact information

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

Date

September 30, 1970

Topic

  • Computers
  • Disasters
  • Fire
  • Fires

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