DC at Night

DC at Night

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Phantoms of the Museum

DC's Smithsonian museums (there are 17 of them here in the city) are among America's most visited and treasured places. But the Smithsonian also publishes a series of some of the most interesting, fact-filled blogs appearing anywhere on the internet. Each Sunday, The Prices Do DC re-posts an entry either about the Smithsonian or that 1st appeared in 1 of the institution's blogs. Hope you enjoy and maybe we'll see you soon at the Smithsonian.

As Halloween approaches, I am reminded of a May 13, 1900, article (see the scan at the bottom of this post) on the National Museum in the Washington Post that reported on “Shades of Scientists Who Walk There Nightly,” (shades was an old term for ghosts). 

The U.S. National Museum was then housed in what is now known as the Arts and Industries Building.  The guards and staff who worked late reported that the deceased but devoted scientists of earlier eras continued to walk the halls of the Museum at night, guarding over their collections.  Foremost among these was Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887), the first Smithsonian curator and second Secretary of the Smithsonian.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Typepad, click here.

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