EXHIBIT: The Nation's Photo Album

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Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1211
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5791.1211e

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has been amassing photographs such as the 1890 shot of a snowflake almost since the medium was invented. Now you can check out highlights from the museum's more than 13 million images at the new Smithsonian Photography Initiative Web site. Visitors can flip through about 1800 photos, some of which date back to the 1840s. The subjects of the nearly 600 entries on science and nature range from a water-scarred martian crater to native seal hunters in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Some of the images are historically important. The snowflake shot, for instance, is part of a collection from Wilson Bentley (1865–1931), a Vermont farmer and self-tutored scientist who was the first to photograph an individual snowflake.


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