The Putnam Gallery

TIME, LIFE, & MATTER: Science in Cambridge

Harvard has a rich history of scholarly contributions to the various natural, physical, and social sciences. "Time, Life, & Matter..." features many important instruments that helped make those contributions possible.

  • Outer View of Gallery
  • Old World Cosmology
  • Sundials
  • Colonial Science
  • Orrery
  • Astronomy Time Keeping
  • Mind Body Science
  • Cyclotron
  • Cyclotron Control Panel

Five themes serve as the framework for exploring interconnected ideas across disciplinary and chronological lines:

  • Colonial Science
  • Natural Philosophy
  • Astronomer’s Time
  • Mind and Body
  • Physical Matters

Highlights of the exhibit include a multitude of stories told in part by such items as a geometric sector designed by Galileo, electrical experimentation apparatus purchased on Harvard's behalf by Benjamin Franklin, a suite of clocks illustrating the development of modern synchronized time-keeping, medical apparatus designed, in part, by Charles Lindbergh (yes, that Charles Lindbergh), and the artifacts of top-secret research conducted by Harvard scientists during World War II.

Have a close-up look at the instruments featured in "Time, Life, & Matter..." using Waywiser.

Faculty Director Peter Galison offers an exhibit overview on CHSI's YouTube channel.



Ongoing Permanent Exhibit
The Putnam Gallery, Science Center 136