Building Shelter at Mt. Whitney, California

ID: 78-6565

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1909

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7005, Box 187, Folder 3

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Donkeys carrying people and supplies are in front of the shelter being constructed at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Mount Whitney, California.


  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Hodgkins Fund and Medal


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


This photograph is also part of neg. # 27205. In 1909, using a grant from the Thomas George Hodgkins Fund, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory erected a shelter atop Mount Whitney, California, for astrophysical researchers. Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) had been at the site in 1881 and deemed it the best location in the country for meteorological and atmospheric observations. SAO Director (1906-1918) Charles Greeley Abbot, later 5th Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1928-1944, began observations at the site in 1909 and secured the construction of the stone building. Abbot worked with W. W. Campbell, director of the Lick Observatory, in completing the field station. Lick Observatory is part of the University of California Observatories of the University of California on Mt. Hamilton, CA.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7005, Box 187, Folder 3

Contact information

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



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  • Mountains
  • Construction
  • Observatories
  • Landscapes
  • Animals
  • Astrophysics
  • Atmosphere
  • Mt. Whitney, California
  • Observing (field) stations
  • Astronomy
  • Meteorology
  • Donkeys
  • Mountains--California
  • Atmosphere--Research


  • Whitney, Mount (Calif.)
  • California


  • Photographic print
  • Landscape

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Landscape; Medium: Photographic print

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