Today in Smithsonian History: March 31, 1857

Engraving of James Smithson

This engraving is based on a side view Neo-Classical bust of James Smithson in bas relief attributed to the Engraver General of France, Pierre Joseph Tiolier (1763-1819), which was part of Smithson’s personal effects. Medallion had the word ‘my likeness’ in Smithson’s hand. Original steel-plate portrait, engraved by J.W. Paradise of New York in 1847, was destroyed in 1865 Smithsonian Institution Building or “Castle” fire, but this engraving was produced by Charles Burt of New York in 1879. Image includes reproduction of Smithson’s signature.

March 31, 1857 The personal effects of James Smithson are removed from the Patent Office Building and deposited in the Regents’ Room at the Smithsonian Institution Building. Most of his belongings are later destroyed in an 1865 fire.

Posted: 31 March 2017
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