Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments As researchers at Harvard have advanced the sciences, the artifacts of their work continue to inform.
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Harvard University has been acquiring scientific instruments on a continuous basis for teaching and research since 1672. The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, which was established in 1948 to preserve this apparatus as a resource for teaching and research in the history of science and technology, has become one of the three largest university collections of its kind in the world. Originally associated with the Harvard library system, the Collection was placed under the stewardship of the Department of History of Science in 1987. Discover our collection online with the Waywiser database: http://dssmhi1.fas.harvard.edu/emuseumdev/code/eMuseum.asp?lang=EN

As we all (well, most of us) set our clocks back this weekend, it's fun to consider The 4th Dimension.
11/02/2019
It's About Time - WHYY

As we all (well, most of us) set our clocks back this weekend, it's fun to consider The 4th Dimension.

December 30, 2011 never happened in Samoa. The island nation in the South Pacific skipped this day, to move ahead into a different time zone. We change our clocks to start and stop daylight saving time. We travel across time zones. Time, in many ways, is a human construct. We have chosen ways to mea...

Harvard's Warren Anatomical Museum has a bone to pick with historical anatomical research.
10/31/2019
3D printing revives skeletal study program at Countway

Harvard's Warren Anatomical Museum has a bone to pick with historical anatomical research.

Countway Library is looking to revive the Bone Box program, which originally let anatomy students check out real human bones.

Happy #AnimationDay! Here at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments we are celebrating the inception of the...
10/28/2019

Happy #AnimationDay! Here at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments we are celebrating the inception of the #zoetrope, which used animation to explore visual perception. This zoetrope from the #harvardchsi Putnam Gallery was created by Max Kohl in 1875, and features a reversible “movie strip” called “Magic Ocean,” which depicts a whale happily diving and surfacing as a seagull flies by. On the reverse is “Chewing Gum.”

Originally called a “wheel of the devil” by its inventor William George Horner, the zoetrope was patented in the U.S. in 1867 as a “wheel of life.” The zoetrope was invented as a device used to play with the idea of persistence of vision, or the way the mind infers motion from an interrupted series of slightly different images. When figures on a strip placed inside the drum are viewed through the slots of the rotating drum, they appear to move. Kohl's zoetrope was also used in the Psychology Laboratory at Harvard to explore emotional reactions to the content of the movie strips. Come take the zoetrope for an imaginary spin in our Putnam gallery, open 11-4pm Sunday through Friday.

09/17/2019
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Join us at 6 pm tonight for our next livestream, Assembling the Dinosaur. Tracing the links among dinosaurs, capitalism, and culture, Lukas Rieppel will reveal how these giant reptiles became intertwined with commercial culture, philanthropic interests, and the popular imagination during America’s long Gilded Age.

Join us at 6 pm on Tuesday, September 17th for our next livestream, Assembling the Dinosaur. Tracing the links among dinosaurs, capitalism, and culture, Lukas Rieppel will reveal how these giant reptiles became intertwined with commercial culture, philanthropic interests, and the popular imagination during America’s long Gilded Age.

Bone Wars!
09/10/2019
Harvard Museum of Natural History

Bone Wars!

On Tuesday, 9/17 Brown University Professor of History Lukas Rieppel will speak about his Harvard University Press book Assembling the Dinosaur & how the discovery of dinosaur fossils in America changed cultural, economic, & political perceptions. #NationalReadABookDay #fossilfriday

More details here: http://bit.ly/2lVTTRU #booksigning #livestream

Mmmmm, Dee-lish!
08/29/2019
Harvard Museum of Natural History

Mmmmm, Dee-lish!

Imagine an orchard, lush and bursting with ripe fruit in the sweltering summer sun. Not all of the fruit weighing down the branches and vines will be fit to consume. Some strawberries will dampen and shrivel with mold, some peaches will be blighted in the shade, and some pears will become pockmarked with age. However, there is a beauty in this natural decaying process that repeats with each season.

As the warm weather comes to a close, the orchards and farms in New England shed decayed fruit to make room for fall crops like apples, and pumpkins. Nonetheless, there is no need to say goodbye to those delicious strawberries, peaches, and plums.

Fruits in Decay is a special new exhibit in the Glass Flowers gallery exploring blight, rot, and other diseases on summer fruits, featuring exquisitely detailed glass botanical models by famed glass artist Rudolf Blaschka. These models capture—with astonishing realism— the intricacies and strange beauty of fruits in various stages of decay.

The new exhibit opens to the public on August 31, 2019. http://bit.ly/2Zf9Rc7

NOW OPEN in CHSI Special Exhibitions Gallery:
08/21/2019
Seeing Science

NOW OPEN in CHSI Special Exhibitions Gallery:

New Harvard exhibit explores “Visual Science: The Art of Research”

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is celebrating #FreeFunFridays today through the Highland Street Foundation. It...
08/16/2019

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is celebrating #FreeFunFridays today through the Highland Street Foundation. It's great to see so many new faces today in the Putnam Gallery!

What summer's for...
08/15/2019
Free Fun Friday 2019!

What summer's for...

Date: Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:00am to 5:00pm Location: Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street; Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue; Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, 1 Oxford Street; Harvard Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue Enjoy free admission on Friday, August 16 a...

"We, the inhabitants of this beautiful Earth...we did it!"#GoogleDoodle
07/19/2019
50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

"We, the inhabitants of this beautiful Earth...we did it!"
#GoogleDoodle

Celebrate 50 years since the moon landing by experiencing the journey in today's out-of-this-world #GoogleDoodle! #Apollo50th 🚀🌕

07/16/2019
Restorers Try to Get Lunar Module Guidance Computer Up and Running

Who do you want on your team, come the A.I. Apocalypse?

In 1976 in a warehouse in Texas, Jimmie Loocke bought two tons of scrapped NASA equipment. Years later he realized it included a computer from an Apollo lunar module, like the one used to guide the lander to the surface of the moon during Apollo 11. Fifty years after that mission, computer restorati...

Looking for an out-of-this-world party to celebrate #Apollo50?!Jet over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History's Lunar...
07/10/2019

Looking for an out-of-this-world party to celebrate #Apollo50?!

Jet over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History's Lunar Soirée 21+ event on Saturday, July 20th, from 7-10pm http://bit.ly/30mHF3G

Their new mini exhibit "Cosmic Origins" earlier in the day, featuring a special #lunarsample directly from NASA. http://bit.ly/2L9xZ9a

There'll be moon-themed cocktails, and refreshments, playing 60s music, and partaking in moon-inspired demonstrations & activities. Why should those engineers at NASA have all the fun?!🌛

Advance tickets are required to attend A Lunar Soirée, and all sales are final: $20 members/$25 nonmembers. Free parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage: http://bit.ly/2XYYS5C.

"Cosmic Origins" open to the public on 7/20 at 9am. The exhibition is supported by a generous gift in memory of John P. Huchra.

In 1764, long before helping to craft America’s Declaration of Independence,  Benjamin Franklin was deputized by Harvard...
07/01/2019

In 1764, long before helping to craft America’s Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was deputized by Harvard to build a state-of-the-art collection of scientific instruments to replace those lost in a fire. A number of these prized apparatus are on display in the Putnam Gallery, as part of “Time, Life, & Matter: Science in Cambridge.” Gallery hours (including The 4th of July!) are Sunday through Friday, 11AM - 4PM.

June 30 is National Meteor Watch Day: Be like Governor Winthrop: grab a friend & go see for yourself! #NationalMeteorWat...
06/25/2019

June 30 is National Meteor Watch Day: Be like Governor Winthrop: grab a friend & go see for yourself! #NationalMeteorWatchDay https://qrgo.page.link/keE9j

06/07/2019
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Summer Solstice

Come & get your solstice on: Friday, June 21, 5-9:00pm, 11 Divinity Ave, Cambridge!

Circus performers, live music, food trucks, make-your-own flower crowns, and an evening in the galleries on the longest day of the year. Harvard Museums of S...

04/11/2019
Vox

Have alidade, will travel!

Leonardo Da Vinci made a map of Imola, Italy, in 1502 that's comparable to satellite imagery of the town today. Here's how he did it:

"Inside, we are a lot like an hourglass. We have a past, a present and a future..."
03/31/2019
The guardian of the sands of time - BBC Reel

"Inside, we are a lot like an hourglass. We have a past, a present and a future..."

Adrian Rodriguez Cozzani has a passion for time, the way it flows and the way we keep track of it. For nearly 30 years he has been crafting beautiful hourglasses and sundials by hand in his small workshop in Trastevere, a colourful neighbourhood in Rome, Italy. Video by Caterina Villa

Hot or not? If you're looking for a day trip stop by the Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments in the Putnam Gal...
03/28/2019

Hot or not? If you're looking for a day trip stop by the Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments in the Putnam Gallery at Harvard (Science Center off Oxford St). This slinky Geiger counter, circa 1948, is our "instrument of the month" from the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory, most notable for its contributions to the development of proton therapy. Come see it in person! #throwbackthursday #tbt
Inventory Number: 2003-1-0307

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
03/26/2019

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Brendan Keegan has a keen eye for owls.

Over the last several weeks Brendan, our landscape crew gardener, has been watching our resident great horned owl family spring to life, literally. Recently owlets hatched in the high-up nest, and will soon make their way onto the limbs, then learn to fly. Here are some photos of a great horned owl family at the Arboretum taken by Bob Mayer in 2016.

Read more on ARBlog https://bit.ly/2HEx8Md

On April 14 take a bird walk with Brendan to learn and see more. https://bit.ly/2FzgTMZ

Public Health Museum
03/12/2019

Public Health Museum

Once a common treatment for the devastating effects of Polio, iron lungs are a rare sight these days. As of 2018 there were only 3 people in the U.S. still using the machines. Stop by the museum to learn more and see one for yourself! Amazing photo of the iron lung in our Infectious Disease room by @buriedbytimephotography

03/11/2019
The Hypnotic Eye

Trouble "springing forward" this past weekend? Come celebrate the end of daylight savings time in our Putnam Gallery with the world-class time pieces of "Time, Life, & Matter: Science in Cambridge."

In recognition of her work in the history of science, David P. Wheatland Curator Sara Schechner has been named the recip...
02/25/2019

In recognition of her work in the history of science, David P. Wheatland Curator Sara Schechner has been named the recipient of the 2019 Paul Bunge Prize by the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker and the German Bunsen Society. Herzlichen glückwunsch and congratulations, Sara!

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?
02/14/2019
Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from climate change to vaccinations—faces furious opposition. Some even have doubts about the moon landing.

Chaire CLE en muséologie et mise en public
01/28/2019
Chaire CLE en muséologie et mise en public

Chaire CLE en muséologie et mise en public

Pour ceux que cela intéresse, un article sur le rôle du jeu dans l'enseignement des sciences à Harvard entre 1730 et 1970.

(Crédit photo: Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University).

Stay in touch with "the big things" this year!
01/01/2019
Sync your calendar with the solar system

Stay in touch with "the big things" this year!

Never miss an eclipse, a meteor shower, a rocket launch or any other astronomical and space event that's out of this world.

Exhausted from baking, shopping, interminable office parties? Tired of watching that burning yule log video (or the real...
12/23/2018
It’s Intermission for the Large Hadron Collider

Exhausted from baking, shopping, interminable office parties? Tired of watching that burning yule log video (or the real thing!)? How about a virtual tour of the Large Hadron Collider?

The largest machine ever built is shutting down for two years of upgrades. Take an immersive tour of the collider with AR and 360° photos.

12/06/2018
WGBH

WGBH

"It is considered the Queen of Medieval astronomical instruments. One Medieval manuscript explained how to do 1,000 different things with the Astrolabe."

Watch as Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Director of Administration David Unger disassembles and assembles a 16th Century Persian Astrolabe. David was interviewed by Producer/Director Adam Luria at Harvard University this morning as part of Impossible Factual's 'Ancient Skies' TV series which will be part of PBS' 50th Anniversary celebration of the Apollo moon landing next summer.

Sara Schechner on Henrietta Leavitt, late 19th century astronomer at the Harvard College Observatory!
12/05/2018
Before circuit boards, female ‘computers’ set the standard

Sara Schechner on Henrietta Leavitt, late 19th century astronomer at the Harvard College Observatory!

At the turn of the 19th century, the idea of women working was a foreign one, but at the Harvard College Observatory (HCO), it was the norm. From 1877 to ...

Free Public Lecture November 14, 6:00 pmORIGINS OF THE GREEN REVOLUTIONHybrid Seeds, Hunger, and Mexico-India Cooperatio...
11/07/2018

Free Public Lecture November 14, 6:00 pm
ORIGINS OF THE GREEN REVOLUTION
Hybrid Seeds, Hunger, and Mexico-India Cooperation

Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

Gabriela Soto Laveaga will talk about the origins of these hybrid seeds from Mexico, their role in the Green Revolution, and the unexpected technological, environmental, and social impacts they had on both Mexico and India. Event details: https://chsi.harvard.edu/calendar/upcoming

With Halloween right around the corner, contemplate if you will, the theremin...
09/28/2018
Composer and musicologist gives theremin lesson at Radcliffe

With Halloween right around the corner, contemplate if you will, the theremin...

Dorit Chrysler, a musicologist, composer, and leading thereminist, sat down with Harvard physicist John Huth at the Radcliffe Institute on for a conversation set to music.

The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics
02/20/2018
The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics

The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics

Free Public Lecture W. Jason Morgan, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University; Visiting Scholar, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University Plate tectonic theory, a milestone in twentieth-century science, has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of Earth’s geologica...

12/15/2017
CHSI on Twitter

Moving our Bruce telescope lenses to their permanent home in our Putnam Gallery. Photo credit @SaraSchechner https://t.co/3Y5tR0meLB

“Moving our Bruce telescope lenses to their permanent home in our Putnam Gallery. Photo credit @SaraSchechner”

Address

1 Oxford St
Cambridge, MA
02138

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(617) 495-2779

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