Celebrating the Smithsonian

a steaming hot cup of coffee

On this day in 1846, the United States Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution using funds from the estate of James Smithson. The Smithsonian tells us, “The will left his estate to his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, and stated that if his nephew died without an heir, the money would go ‘to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge ….’ After his nephew died without an heir, Smithson’s estate did come to the United States and a debate began about what this new institution would be.” While Smithson himself had never visited the United States, his remains now lie in the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC.

In honor of James Smithson and the Institution named for him, we offer his recipe for brewing coffee, which many may need this weekend at NOTOCON:

The Founder of the Smithsonian Institution Figured Out How to Brew a Better Cup of Coffee

James Smithson (1765-1829)

Founder James Smithson (1765-1829) published a paper in search of better way to brew coffee and then considered how his method might work with hops to make beer. (NPG/ Wikimedia Commons / Flickr user Marcelo Braga / Flickr user sammydavisdog)

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