overall: 3 1/8 in x 1 in; 7.9375 cm x 2.54 cm
The National Institute for the Promotion of Science acquired James Smithson’s personaleffects, displaying them in the National Gallery of the Patent Office beginning in 1842. There, John Varden, the collection’s keeper, apparently helped himself to a supply of Smithson’s calling cards. Varden gave this one to Caleb Bentley, a Quaker silversmith, shopkeeper, and postmaster of Brookeville, Maryland—and a contributor to Varden’s Washington Museum. Varden’s gift to Bentley went unrecorded until 1892, when the card came back to theSmithsonian with an inscription that noted its diversion.
Bequest of James Smithson, 1829
Government, Politics, and Reform
SEE MORE ITEMS IN:
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center