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.
Posted: 14 August 2017