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Came, Charles, 1806-1881  Search this
0.25 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Letters (correspondence)
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of approximately .25 cubic feet of correspondence, pamphlets, photographs, and books documenting Charles Came. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence from Charles Came to his second wife, Cynthia (Chadwick) Came which were written during his travels throughout upstate New York. The correspondence is not inclusive, and distinctions have been made between existing original correspondence, photostats, photocopies, and typed copies. The photostats appear to be the most complete set of letters between Dr. Came and his wife.
The collection is divided into six series. Series 1: Biographical, undated Series 2: Correspondence, 1845-1860 Series 3: Photographs, undated Series 4: Writings, undated Series 5: Pamphlets, 1838-1849 Series 6: Books, 1846-1854
Biographical/Historical note:
Charles Came (1806-1881) was born in Henrietta, New York. Came did not attend school, but held work as both a cabinetmaker and a carver of gravestones. He had a strong interest in astronomy and electricity and during the late 1840s and 1850s, he traveled through upstate New York demonstrating the marvels of science, with an emphasis on electricity. Came discovered that he could make money on his own by traveling from town to town, presenting basic science to the people in a dramatic, entertaining style, or enlightening them about recent discoveries. Came began calling himself "Dr." Came and also prescribed medical remedies. The handbills in the collection note Dr. Came's Cough Balsam, Magnetic Stimulating Drops, Magnetic Vermifuge, Volatile Liniment, Vegetable Cathartric Powder, and Easy Emetic Tincture to name a few. The collection represents the popularization of science and its role in American culture. Sources Sherman, Roger. "Charles Came, Itinerant Science Lecturer, and His Splendid Apparatus," Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 5, No. 4, August 1991, p. 120.
Related Archival Materials:
Approximately 138 scientific instruments—some of which include electrical apparatuses, phrenology heads, tellurian, a celestial globe, colored lantern slides, and electromagnetic engines—from Dr. Came's personal collection are housed in the Division of Medicine and Science.
The collection was purchased by the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics, now known as the Division of Medicine and Science in 1989.
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Phrenology  Search this
Sideshows  Search this
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Electricity  Search this
Lecturers  Search this
Photographs -- 19th century
Books -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 19th century
Pamphlets -- 19th century
Charles Came Collection, 1838-1979, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Charles Came Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History