The Astrophysical Observatory

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Discusses proposals by John Quincy Adams for a national astronomical observatory, gifts from Jerome Henry Kidder and Alexander Graham Bell, and selection of an observatory site. Also summarizes research on spectral analysis.


  • Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848
  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922
  • Kidder, Jerome
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

The Smithsonian Institution 1846-1896, The History of its First Half Century (Book)

Contact information

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




  • Astrophysics
  • Solar energy
  • Astronomy
  • Solar energy--Research

Physical description

pp. 419-42

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