Science & Mathematics
The Museum's collections hold thousands of objects related to chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and other sciences. Instruments range from early American telescopes to lasers. Rare glassware and other artifacts from the laboratory of Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, are among the scientific treasures here. A Gilbert chemistry set of about 1937 and other objects testify to the pleasures of amateur science. Artifacts also help illuminate the social and political history of biology and the roles of women and minorities in science.
The mathematics collection holds artifacts from slide rules and flash cards to code-breaking equipment. More than 1,000 models demonstrate some of the problems and principles of mathematics, and 80 abstract paintings by illustrator and cartoonist Crockett Johnson show his visual interpretations of mathematical theorems.
"Science & Mathematics - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This brass yard standard and matrix are stored in a mahogany case with brass handles on either end and brass hooks to secure the lid, one of which no longer closes. The yard standard has extensions on either side which make it 104 cm (41") long. The yard fits into a matrix, which is divided into tenths, with the first division also divided into tenths. The yard and matrix each weigh 13 lbs., 4 oz. The case also contains 4 mahogany wedges and 3 mahogany rectangles, each less than 7 cm long. A scriber and square were originally in the case.
- This yard standard is one of those distributed by the Treasury Department to the states after Congress set standard measures on June 14, 1833. Sets of weights were distributed to the states by 1838. Metric length standards were distributed to the states and to customhouses into the 1860s. The Bureau of Standards transferred this object to the Smithsonian in 1929.
- Reference: Rexmond C. Cochrane, Measures for Progress (Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards, 1966), p. 27-28.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- United States Office of Weights and Measures
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center