September 30, 1936 Smithsonian Secretary (1928-1944) and astrophysicist Charles G. Abbot tests a solar radiation steam boiler of his design. The National Broadcasting Company films the test and a short program is broadcast by solar power. The solar radiation steam boiler exposes 36 square feet of mirror surface, and it is intended to produce about one-half horsepower at the engine. The device has many defects and is too large to be practical for generating solar power. After the test a smaller solar flash boiler is prepared and offers greater promise.
Posted: 30 September 2017