Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

How Did a 17th-Century French Sundial End Up Buried in a Field in Indiana?

Curator Peggy Kidwell solves the mystery of a pocket sundial from the 1600s

Robert Abbe's hourglass (NMAH)

Curing Cancer with a Single Gram of Radium

This glass tube, part of the museum’s collection, once contained a sample of helium. Its paper label reads, “HELIUM / SIR W. RAMSAY, K.C.B., LL.D., F.R.S. / THOMAS TRYER & CO., Ltd. / STRATFORD, LONDON, ENGLAND.”

The History of Holding Helium