Scientist Items (6 total)

Pennsylvania farmer and dairyman, Isaac Newton served as the first United States Commissioner of Agriculture. Under Newton, the agency focused on research and education, disseminating information to farmers throughout the nation. Newton advocated for…

William Temple Hornaday was a hunter, taxidermist, zoo director, and a founder of the American conservation movement. He served as Chief Taxidermist of the United States National Museum from 1882, Curator of the Department of Living Animals, and the…

Spencer Baird served as the first curator of the Smithsonian Institution and became the second Secretary of the Smithsonian. He worked at the Institution from 1850 until his death in 1887. Baird expanded and strengthened the Smithsonian's…

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S. Dillon Ripley was the eighth Secretary of the Smithsonian, serving from 1964-1984. Under his leadership, the Smithsonian Institution expanded and revitalized. Ripley believed museums should be vital sites of learning and engagement, actively…

On June 11, 1861, Thaddeus S.C. Lowe flew a gas balloon, the Enterprise, over the White House. Lowe wanted to demonstrate the potential of using balloons for reconnaissance missions. Lowe placed his gas generators on the Mall near the Smithsonian…

British scientist James Smithson provided the funding necessary to create the Smithsonian Institution. Born in France and educated at Oxford University in England, Smithson was a wealthy chemist and mineralogist. He never married or had any children.…

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