Minutes of the Permanent Commission of the Navy, Meeting XXXV (May 28, 1863)

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  • Minutes of the Permanent Commission of the Navy's Meeting XXXV, held at the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle," on May 28, 1863. In the minutes, the members of the commission report of various proposed inventions and weapons. They report that T. Taylor's proposal of a "smoking shell" and "punching ram" should be dismissed.
  • In February 1863 Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was appointed to the newly-established Permanent Commission of the Navy Department. This three-member board was charged with reviewing proposals sent to the Navy for warship designs, signalling systems, torpedoes, underwater guns, and other ordnance. The commission met more than 100 times and up to three times a week over the next two years, often at the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle." They evaluated more than 300 inventions and proposals and issued more than 250 reports.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • United States Navy
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Permanent Commission of the Navy


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • 1 pages scanned from the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, page between pages 278 and 279, and 6 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, pages 309-314 (Document 176).
  • SIA2012-3532 is an image of one section of the original of the Minutes scanned from the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, and SIA2012-3560 through SIA2012-3565 are the complete transcript and notes of the Minutes.

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, The Smithsonian Years: January 1858-December 1865 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2004), 309-314

Contact information

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


May 28, 1863

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Weapons
  • Meetings
  • Secretaries
  • Inventions
  • Reports


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-3532 and SIA2012-3560 and SIA2012-3561 and SIA2012-3562 and SIA2012-3563 and SIA2012-3564 and SIA2012-3565

Physical description

Number of Images: 7 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 6 3/4w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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