Joseph Henry Re-establishes Smithsonian Meteorological Observer Network

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During 1866, the system of meteorological observations interrupted by the Civil War is gradually re-established. There are 352 observers, 67 of whom have complete sets of instruments. The meteorological system under the direction of the U.S. Army's Surgeon General is also in the process of reorganization, and as soon as military posts are permanently established, will recommence to coordinate its efforts with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1867, the Smithsonian would oversee the production of new barometers and thermometers for military posts.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Meteorological Project
  • United States Army Surgeon General
  • United States Dept. of the Army Office of the Surgeon General
  • Weather Bureau


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, January 1866-December 1878: The Smithsonian Years (Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2007), pp. xxix, 162n.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1866, 23-24.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1867, 27.

Contact information

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


March 5-December 1866


  • Citizen science
  • Wartime Activities
  • Cooperation
  • Interagency Relations
  • Volunteers
  • Meteorology

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