Greetings from the SmithsonianA Postcard History

See how Washington, DC and Smithsonian visitors have shared their trips with others by taking a historic look at the Smithsonian through the picture postcard.

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Smithsonian Observatories

The postcards in this gallery are from observatories associated with the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory established in 1890 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the Smithsonian’s research centers. Together with the Harvard College Observatory, it forms the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Mt. Wilson Observatory opened in the early 1900s, and many researchers, including those from the Smithsonian, visited the observatory to conduct research. The observatory is funded by the Carnegie Institution for Science. The postcards from Mt. Wilson belonged to Charles Greeley Abbot. He was the fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian and was an astrophysicist and solar researcher.