Historical artwork of James Smithson

Historical artwork of James Smithson

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Caption: James Smithson. Historical artwork of James Smithson (1765-1829), English mineralogist and chemist, and founder of the Smithsonian Institution, USA. Born in France, he was educated at Oxford University, England, and became a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry at the age of 22. He was the unrecognised bastard son of the Duke of Northumberland, and was resentful of the fact. He had no connection with the USA, but was determined that his name be remembered. He left a large amount of money for the foundation of an "Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The Smithsonian Institution is now the largest museum complex in the world.

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Keywords: bastard, chemist, found, james, james smithson, mineralogist, portraits, smithson, smithsonian institution, surname s

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