Magnetic Observatory to be Built at SI

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The Board of Regents authorizes the expenditure of $1,100 to build a magnetic observatory on the Smithsonian grounds. It will consist of a small underground room, twelve by sixteen feet, and an above-ground portion, constructed of wood and designed to correspond somewhat to the architecture of the Smithsonian Institution Building.


  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Magnetic Observatory
  • South Yard


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1853, pp. 19-22, 64, 67, 71, 76, 88, 90, 130, 146, 150, 161-162, 177, 203, 213, and 232.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897, pp. 529-531, 547, 566-567, 595, 835 and 836.
  • Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, volume 18, number 329. "Journals of the Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1846-76, Reports of Committees, Statistics, Etc." ed. by William J. Rhees. Washington: Published by the Smithsonian Institution, 1879, p. 89.

Contact information

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


February 3, 1853


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