Science Service was established in 1920 through the efforts of the E. W. Scripps Company in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the National Research Council (NRC). In 1919 Scripps had established the American Society for the Dissemination of Science. Unknown to Scripps, the three major scientific organizations were trying to agree on a format and establish a popular science journal. In 1920 Scripps met with representatives of the AAAS, NAS, and NRC in an attempt to pool resources. Out of that meeting came Science Service, a news service designed to popularize science and to disseminate scientific knowledge.
This accession consists of Science Service files that were given to and maintained by the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics (E&MP), National Museum of American History (NMAH), which later became part of the Division of Information Technology and Society and then Division of Work and Industry after that. The files in this collection relate specifically to the subject of electricity. Also covered and related to the subject area of electricity are automobiles, batteries, camera, communications, electric circuits, electric generators, lighting, electric machinery, electric power plants, electric power transmission, electrical engineering, electromagnets, electron microscope, fuel cells, integrated circuits, lasers, phonographs, radio, radio transmission, telephones, and television. Materials include correspondence and memoranda, photographs, news releases, and clippings. Some subjects are listed but the envelopes are missing. A select number of images were digitized and appeared on a Science Service website created and maintained by Nance L. Briscoe, Collections Manager, and later by Harold D. Wallace, Curator, Division of Work and Industry, NMAH. The site has been taken down by NMAH but can still be accessed through Accession 14-071: National Museum of American History, Website Records, 2008-2013, Smithsonian Institution Archives.