Museum of History and Technology, Civil Engineering Hall
National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
SIA RU000285 [SIA2010-3380]
All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email OSIAREF@si.edu)
Museum aide James Fisher. Ceilings in a few engineering halls were omitted to permit visitors to see ducts, conduits, pipes, values, mixing chambers and other mechanical equipment of a modern building. This image shows a portion of the Tunneling Section of the Civil Engineering Hall, showing installation of wooden and steel bracing structures for soft earth. The exhibits for these were prepared in advance of the completion of the building
Record Unit 285, National Museum of History and Technology, Office of the Director, Photographs, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
This is a Descent Engine designed by Space Technology Laboratories as used on the Project Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (LM) to land on the Moon. The engine could be throttled between 1,000 and 10,000 pounds of thrust and was also the first gimballed and throttable rocket engine used on a spacecraft.
The engine shown here is an early developmental model dating to 1966. During the Apollo lunar missions from 1969-1972, there were no problems with the Descent Engine, although on the Apollo 13 mission, no Moon landing was made and the Descent Engine served another purpose, that of taking the craft out of lunar orbit and back home. The engine was donated to the Smithsonian in 1972 by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Joint Committee on Archives of Science and Technology Records, 1978-1984
History of Science Society
Warnow-Blewett, Joan 1931-
American Institute of Physics
Joint Committee on Archives of Science & Technology (U.S.)
Society for the History of Technology
Society of American Archivists
1.5 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (1 document box)
SIA Acc. 99-120
These records consist of files of the Joint Committee on Archives of Science and Technology (JCAST). JCAST was comprised of three professional organizations - the History of Science Society (HSS), the Society for the History of Technology, and the Society of American Archivists. These records were created and maintained by Joan Warnow-Blewett, Chair of JCAST, and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Archivist Emeritus. Per the request of HSS, these records were transferred from AIP and made part of the HSS collections at SIA. Materials include correspondence, notes, meeting minutes, grant proposals, reports, guidelines, position papers, outlines, and schedules
overall: .9 cm x 61 cm x 5.4 cm; 11/32 in x 24 1/32 in x 2 1/8 in
United States: Ohio, Youngstown
Science & Mathematics
Gift of John N. Welsh
The scales on this 22-inch, two-sided wooden slide rule are printed on paper. The front has two scales on the left end of the base labeled B and C and two scales labeled A on the left end of the slide. These scales run half the length of the instrument. The B and two A scales are identical, divided logarithmically from left to right and running from 1 to 10. The C scale is divided logarithmically from right to left and runs from 10 to 1. It is labeled RECIPROCALS.
The right end of the base has two D scales, both labeled ROOTS, with two additional A scales on the right end of the slide. The A scales are divided logarithmically from left to right and run from 1 to 10. The top D scale runs from 1 to 3.16 and shows square roots of the numbers on the A scale below it. The bottom D scale runs from 3.16 to 10 and shows square roots of the numbers on the A scale above it, between 10 and 100. Written in pencil on the back of the slide and underneath the slide is the number 1096.
The back of the rule contains two scales on the base labeled F and two scales on the slide labeled E. The top F scale runs the length of the scale and is divided logarithmically from 1 to 10. The sections between 1 and 2, between 2 and 3, between 3 and 4, and between 4 and 5 are subdivided. The lower F scale is similarly divided, but starts from the center of the rule (running from the square root of 10, or 3.16, to 10 and then from 1 to the square root of 10). The E scales are identical to the adjacent F scales. Written in pencil on the back of the slide and underneath the slide is the number 1097.
The bottom of the base on both sides is marked: Patented July 2, 1901. The top edge of the rule is marked: THE ENGINEERS (/) SLIDE RULE. It is also marked: From E. M. Scofield, Bridge Engineer. (/) Sta. A, – Youngstown, – Ohio. (/) Rule sent prepaid on receipt of price. (/) Factory, – Youngstown, Ohio. The paper pasted on this edge also has the formula ex/f, a description of how to solve this formula with the instrument, and tables of equivalents. The bottom edge of the rule gives seventeen more formulas and instructions. It is marked: DIRECTIONS FOR SCALES A • B • C & D (/) FOR "Op." READ "OPPOSITE" (/) FOR "—" READ "ON SCALE" (/) FOR "Ans." READ "FIND ANSWER" (/) FOR LAST SIX PROBLEMS REVERSE SLIDE.
Edson Mason Scofield (1867–1939) developed this rule in 1891, while he worked for Edwin Thacher (inventor of the cylindrical slide rule bearing his name; see, for example, MA*312866). Thacher applied for a patent on the design in 1900 and assigned a half-interest to Scofield when the patent was issued in 1901. According to the instrument, Scofield may have distributed the rule himself. It was also sold by Eugene Dietzgen Company of Chicago from about 1901 through at least 1931. The price for model 1787 ranged from $5.00 to $7.00. By 1926, Dietzgen marked the rule with its company name. This instrument is identical to MA*325990.
John N. Welsh (1904–1999), the donor of this slide rule, was a chemical engineer who obtained his B.S. from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1925. He was associated with Hall Laboratories, Inc. of Pittsburgh (later CALGON) from 1939 through at least 1968. By 1972, when this slide rule was briefly placed on exhibit, Welsh was living in Florida.
References: Edwin Thacher, "Slide Rule" (U.S. Patent 677,817 issued July 2, 1901); Catalogue & Price List of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 7th ed. (Chicago, 1904), 173; Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 12th ed. (Chicago, 1926), 177; Conrad Schure, "The Scofield-Thacher Slide Rule," Journal of the Oughtred Society 3, no. 1 (1994): 20–25; Peter M. Hopp, Slide Rules: Their History, Models, and Makers (Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 1999), 161; Who's Who in Engineering (New York and West Palm Beach: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1964), 1996.
United States National Museum Division of Engineering
Mitman, Carl Weaver 1889-
Gilbert, Chester Garfield
Porter, Holbrook Fitz-John 1858-1933
Winlock, William Crawford
National Museum of Engineering and Industry
Division of Mineral Technology (USNM)
Division of Mechanical Technology (USNM)
1.4 linear meters
Although the Division of Engineering was not established until 1931, its origins date back to 1885, when the Section of Steam Transportation was created in the Department of Arts and Industries, United States National Museum (USNM). The divisions and sections dealing with physical apparatus, physical science, technology, electricity, engineering, transportation and their modern counterparts all share a common derivation from this Section, wherein curators often served in several positions at the same time
In 1885 J. Elfreth Watkins was appointed Curator of the Section of Steam Transportation, which was successively known as Transportation and Engineering, and Technological Collections. During his absence from 1892 to 1895, William Crawford Winlock served in that capacity
When the USNM was reorganized in 1897, the Section became the Division of Technology of the Department of Anthropology, renamed the Division of Mechanical Technology in 1912. Watkins served as Curator until 1903, with George C. Maynard as Assistant Curator, 1901-1912, and Curator, 1912-1918
The Museum also established an independent Department of Mineral Technology in 1904, responsible for mining apparatus, with Charles D. Walcott as Honorary Curator, 1904-1912. The Department became a Division in 1913, under Chester G. Gilbert, Curator until 1919. The Division also included Carl W. Mitman, Aide, 1914-1915, Assistant Curator, 1915-1919; and Joseph E. Pogue, Assistant Curator, 1917-1918, Curator, 1918-1919
In 1919 both Divisions were placed in the new Department of Arts and Industries, with Mitman as Curator of Mechanical Technology and Gilbert continuing as Honorary Curator of Mineral Technology, a position he held until 1935. However, in 1921 Mitman took the title of Curator of the Divisions of Mineral and Mechanical Technology, serving in this capacity until 1931. Other staff included Paul M. Frank, Assistant Curator of Mineral Technology, 1921-1923; Paul E. Garber, Assistant Curator of Mineral and Mechanical Technology, 1924-1931; and Frank A. Taylor, Assistant Curator, 1928-1931
In 1931 the Division of Engineering was established, with the Divisions of Mineral and Mechanical Technology becoming two of its three sections; the third was the Section of Aeronautics. The Division continued through 1957, although the Section of Aeronautics left in 1942, gaining divisional status. After 1938 the Division of Engineering reported to the Department of Engineering and Industries, successor to Arts and Industries
The Division held collections relating to engineering, transportation, physical sciences, tools, horology, and until 1942, aeronautics. Staff of the Division included: Mitman, Curator of the Division and in charge of Mineral Technology, 1931-1938, Head Curator of the Department of Arts and Industries, 1932-1938, Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries, 1938-1948; Taylor, Assistant Curator of Mechanical Technology, 1932, Curator of the Division and in charge of Mechanical Technology, 1932-1948, Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries, 1948-1957; Garber, Assistant Curator of Aeronautics, 1931-1942; Smith Hempstone Oliver, Associate Curator of Land Transportation, 1946-1956, and of Horology, 1955-1956; Kenneth M. Perry, Associate Curator of Electricity, 1948-1956, and of Marine Transportation, from 1955; Robert P. Multhauf, Associate Curator of Engineering, 1954-1955, and Curator of the Division, 1955-1956; W. James King, Jr., Associate Curator of Electricity, from 1956; Robert S. Woodbury, Curator of the Division, from 1956; and Edward A. Battison, Associate Curator of Light Machinery, from 1956
This record unit documents the activities of the Division of Engineering (USNM) and its predecessors. Included is early correspondence between curators J. Elfreth Watkins and William Crawford Winlock and administrators of the USNM and the Smithsonian; an incomplete general correspondence file, R-Z, of Carl Weaver Mitman and Chester G. Gilbert, circa 1904-1919; annual and quarterly reports of the divisions; histories of the Division of Technology, 1906; administrative files including budgets, plans of operations, object inventories, and lists of objects packed for evacuation during World War II; postcards and photographs of museums and exhibits from Mitman's study of European engineering, industrial, and science museums in 1932; files, including minutes of an organizing committee and correspondence between Mitman and Holbrook Fitz John Porter, concerning an effort to establish a National Museum of Engineering and Industry under the auspices of the Smithsonian; and files, including correspondence and biographical information, documenting the Divisions of Mineral and Mechanical Technology's efforts to establish a biographical file on American inventors, engineers, and industrialists
W.B. Chapman was President of The Chapman Engineering Co. The photograph was provided to newspapers in conjunction with Second International Conference on Bituminous Coal, Carnegie Institute of Technology, November 1928