Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 293
Creators:
National Museum of History and Technology. Division of Physical Sciences
Dates:
1956-1976
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.5 cu. ft. (7 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records consist of public inquiries about scientific instruments; layout plans, scripts, and photographs for exhibitions; proposals for the Hall of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy in MHT; general correspondence with domestic and foreign science museums, universities, manufacturers and collectors of scientific instruments, and professional societies; administrative files consisting of annual reports, staff memoranda, and planning statements; records documenting Cannon's role in the bicentennial celebration of James Smithson's birth; and information pertaining to internship research.

Historical Note
Historical Note
In 1890 a Section of Physical Apparatus was established in the Department of Arts and Industries with William Crawford Winlock as Honorary Curator. In 1897 the Section became the Mechanical Phases collection in the Division of Technology, curated by J. Elfreth Watkins.
In 1938 the Section of Physical Sciences and Measurement was created from the Section of Mechanical Technology of the Division of Engineering. Frank A. Taylor, Curator of Engineering, assumed curatorial responsibility for Physical Sciences and Measurement, serving in this capacity until 1955. His successor, Robert P. Multhauf, was Curator of the Section from 1955 to 1957.
In 1957 the Section of Physical Sciences and Measurement became the Division of Physical Sciences, Department of Science and Technology, in the Museum of History and Technology (MHT). Multhauf served as Curator of the Division until the position was assigned to Faye Cannon (prior to 1976, Walter F. Cannon) in 1965.
Research and collections of the Division of Physical Sciences principally focused on the history of astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, classical physics, geology, astrophysics, and mathematics. Curators and staff of the Division included Robert P. Multhauf, Curator of the Section of Physical Sciences and Measurement, 1955-1957, Curator of the Division of Physical Sciences, 1957-1965; Faye Cannon, Associate Curator, 1962-1964, Curator, 1965- ; Lester Clark Lewis, Curator, 1962; Uta C. Merzbach, Associate Curator, 1964-1967; Deborah J. (Mills) Warner, Assistant Curator, 1964-1966, 1968-1969, Associate Curator, 1970- ; and Jon B. Eklund, Assistant Curator, 1968-1969, Associate Curator, 1970- .

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 293, National Museum of History and Technology. Division of Physical Sciences, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Cannon, Susan Faye, 1925-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Winlock, William Crawford Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taylor, Frank A. (Frank Augustus), 1903-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Multhauf, Robert P. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, Lester Clark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Merzbach, Uta C., 1933- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warner, Deborah Jean Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eklund, Jon B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.). Department of Science and Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.). Hall of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Section of Physical Apparatus Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Arts and Industries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Engineering and Industries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Section of Physical Sciences and Measurement Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithson Bicentennial Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mathematics -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physical sciences -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum curators Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Floor plans Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu