Graphical timeline from Smithson to Smithsonian
From Smithson to Smithsonian - The Birth of an InstitutionWho Was James Smithson?

Who Was James Smithson?
Sccepting Smithson's Gift
All-American Compromise
The Smithsonian Building
An Institution Emerges
A National Collection
Smithson's Legacy

A World of Scientific Ideals

"The . . . design of the Royal Society was to improve the knowledge of natural things, and all useful arts, manufactures, mechanick practises, engynes and inventions by experiments--(not meddling with divinity, metaphysics, moralls, politicks, grammar, rhetorick, or logick.)"
-Statement by Robert Hooke, curator of the Royal Society of London, 1663

"[The Royal Institution's purpose is] diffusing the knowledge and facilitating the general introduction of useful mechanical improvements."
-Excerpt of charter of Royal Institution of Great Britain, 1800

Henry Cavendish
Henry Cavendish

Smithson, along with many of his friends, was an active member of several organizations dedicated to advancing
Dominique François Arago
Dominique François

scientific research and using science to benefit society. He and his friend Henry Cavendish, a noted chemist and physicist, were fellows of the Royal Society of London and charter members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Smithson's close friend, French physicist and astronomer Dominique François Arago, advocated using science to improve everyday life. Influenced by the French Revolution, he dedicated himself to social reform and the education of the lower classes.

Back3 of 6Next

~ back ~ next ~


Site Index Home Help Bibliography Other Resources Credits & Copyright
~ site index ~ home ~ help ~ bibliography ~ other resources ~ credits & copyright ~