Sec. Abbot and His Solar Powered Invention

ID: SIA2011-0169 and 32605-7

Creator: Tolman, Ruel P (Ruel Pardee) 1878-1954

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: September 30, 1936

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7433, Box 3, Folder: Scrapbook II, 1934-1942, A-N

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  • Group of people gathered for a news broadcast concerning astrophysicists and fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1928-1944) Charles Greeley Abbot's solar powered invention. Secretary Abbot is seen here talking with an unidentified person in the South Yard behind the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle."
  • On September 30, 1936, Smithsonian Secretary and astrophysicist Charles G. Abbot tested a solar radiation steam boiler of his design. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) filmed the test and by operating an electric generator, a short program was broadcast by solar power.


  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
  • South Yard
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • See Neg. #s SIA2011-0166 through SIA2011-0173 and 4694C for other views of the Solar Boiler.
  • This image was taken by Ruel P. Tolman, former Director of Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Arts, and is included in a scrapbook of photographs of Smithsonian staff, grounds and buildings, exhibitions, and Washington, D.C. scenes. (Section A)

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7433, Box 3, Folder: Scrapbook II, 1934-1942, A-N

Contact information

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


September 30, 1936

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Astrophysicists
  • Secretariats
  • Astrophysics
  • Scientific apparatus and instruments
  • Secretaries
  • Inventions
  • Solar energy
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Solar Boiler
  • Special events
  • Event
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Photographic print
  • Event
  • Group, candid

ID Number

SIA2011-0169 and 32605-7

Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 2w x 2h; Type of Image: Event; Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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