Aug
14

Today in Smithsonian History: August 14, 1871

Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1846-1878), and his wife, Harriet Alexander Henry, and their daughters Caroline, Helen Louisa and Mary Anna, who are holding croquet mallets, seated on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution Building. (Photo by Titian Ramsey Peale, 1865)

Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1846-1878), and his wife, Harriet Alexander Henry, and their daughters Caroline, Helen Louisa and Mary Anna, who are holding croquet mallets, seated on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution Building. (Photo by Titian Ramsey Peale, 1865)

August 14, 1871 Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry commences his journey to California via the transcontinental railroad completed just two years earlier. His daughter Helen accompanies him. As chairman of the U.S. Lighthouse Board’s Committee on Experiments, Henry spends most of his time in San Francisco inspecting lard oil for lamps. During the six- to seven-day journey from Washington to California and back, Henry and Helen stop in Council Bluffs and Omaha, Nebraska, Salt Lake City, and Chicago.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives


Posted: 14 August 2017
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