Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

New York City Museum of Science and Industry


THE New York City Museum of Science and Industry was formally opened on the evening of February 11 in a novel manner. At 3.35 a.m. G.M.T. on February 12 (10.35 p.m. February 11, in New York), Sir William Bragg was seated in Faraday's old study at the Royal Institution before the table at which Faraday used to work; and he gave a short address to a distinguished gathering in the New York Museum, including Prof. Albert Einstein, Dr. F. B. Jewett of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, and the Mayor of New York. The American listeners then heard Sir William strike a match, with which he lit an old candle set in a candle-stick of Faraday's time; in a few instants, the entrance hall of the New York Museum was flooded with the light of two rows of mercury vapour lamps. The means by which this feat was accomplished provides an interesting demonstration of one of the many marvellous attainments of modern applied science which have resulted from Faraday's pioneer work of more than a hundred years ago. When Sir William lit the candle, the light was incident on a photo-electric cell, and the resulting electrical impulse was amplified and transmitted over telephone lines to the Post Office trans-Atlantic radio station at Rugby. The signal passing over the radio link was received at Netrong, U.S.A., by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company's station, and then re-transmitted by telephone line to the New York Museum of Science and Industry, where it was made to light a Westinghouse lamp of fifty years ago. The light from this lamp was picked up by another photo-electric cell, which in turn actuated the switches controlling the mercury vapour lamps flood-light ing the hall of the Museum.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

New York City Museum of Science and Industry. Nature 137, 307 (1936).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing