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About this collection

Collections of images related history of the National Bureau of Standards and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or events held by the agency

Ferdinand Rudolf Hassler

The first real effort to provide accurate, if nonlegal, standards of weights and measures was made by Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler (1770-1843), a Swiss engineer and metrologist who emigrated to this country at the age of 35. Upon the establishment of the Coast Survey in the Treasury Department, Hassler became its first superintendent, holding that office from 1807 to 1818. In 1832, he was reappointed superintendent of the Coast Survey. In 1836, the Office of Weights and Measures was established in the U.S. Coast Survey. The Office of Weights and Measures became the National Bureau of Standards in 1901. Hassler continued as superintendent of the Coast Survey until his death in November 1843 at the age of 73. This photographic collection contains images of Hassler’s instruments, a monument dedicated to his life and work, and portraits of Hassler and his family.

Founding of the National Bureau of Standards

On May 3, 1900, the House Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures met to consider a letter recently submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury requesting the establishment of a national standardizing bureau. Within 10 months the bill founding the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) passed both houses of Congress. The images in this collection document the request letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, the first payroll records, and photographs of early members of the NBS staff.

NIST 2001 Centennial

Images of various celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, previously known as the National Bureau of Standards. Photographic collections include:

  • NIST Centennial Gala and Policy Makers Day
  • NIST Centennial Gala, 2001
  • Centennial History and Reunion Day 1
  • Centennial History and Reunion Day 2
  • Centennial Lobby and Information Center
  • Centennial Kickoff
  • NIST at 100 : Foundations for Progress 

Secretary of Commerce Elliot Richardson Visit to NBS

During 1976, NBS staged a year-long celebration of its 76th year of service to the Nation with open houses at both its Gaithersburg and Boulder campuses with exhibits, symposia, workshops, and films. The party began on March 1, with a ceremonial visit to the Gaithersburg campus by Secretary of Commerce Elliot Richardson and the opening of a 4-day symposium staged by the Institute for Basic Standards.

Reagan Participation in Superconductivity Conference

This collection documents President Ronald Reagan’s surprise visit to a Federal Conference on Commercial Applications of Superconductivity on July 28, 1987.  The Federal government, he announced, should strive mightily to develop and commercialize the field of high-temperature superconductivity.

International Standards Meetings

A collection of photographs of various international NBS standards committees.

 
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