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NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress

Drop Cap Letter For 100 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has helped to keep U.S. technology at the leading edge. Over the years, NIST has made solid contributions to image processing, DNA diagnostic "chips," smoke detectors, and automated error-correcting software for machine tools. NIST also has had major impact

Old photo of woman with headphones on at radio crystal set.

Ca. 1920--a NIST staff member listens with something like incredulity to a radio broadcast picked up by a homemade crystal set.
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on atomic clocks, X-ray standards for mammography, scanning tunneling microscopy, pollution-control technology, and high-speed dental drills.

Founded on March 3, 1901, as the National Bureau of Standards, NIST was the federal government's first physical science research laboratory. NIST's major accomplishments of the past 100 years and their impact on industry, science and technology, the nation's economy, and the public—are described in NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress, an extensive, illustrated web site. Another fact sheet briefly summarizes the benefits of NIST's research and services.

More links about NIST and history

For more about NIST and history:
bullet See a sampling of the impacts NIST has had on industry, science, consumers, technology, and national security.
bullet Take a look at "A Century of Excellence in Measurements, Standards, and Technology - A Chronicle of Selected NBS/NIST Publications, 1901 - 2000"
bullet What's in a name--from NBS to NIST
bullet Check out our Centennial events
bullet Try our Centennial crossword puzzle 
bullet Tour our Virtual Museum, which features an exhibit on the history of weights and measures.
bullet Take a Walk Through Time—an illustrated history of timekeeping.
bullet See historical exhibits relating to time and frequency.
bullet Find out how NIST helps protect America's Charters of Freedom—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
bullet Explore NIST’s connections to baseball, past and present.
bullet Learn about Marie Curie and the NIST (NBS) Radium Standards.
bullet Discover how NIST scientists invented an instrument that preceded the scanning tunneling microscope.
bullet Learn how a major theory of physics—parity—was disproved.
bullet Here is a sampling of story ideas from today's NIST.
bullet Find out who has led NIST over the years.
bullet President Bush congratulates NIST on its Centennial
bullet State governors congratulate NIST on its Centennial  
bullet Remarks by Donald Evans, Secretary of Commerce, at the NIST Centennial Gala, March 6, 2001, Washington, DC.
bullet Remarks by Thomas A. Manuel, Chair, NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, at the NIST Centennial Gala, March 6, 2001, Washington, DC.
bullet Remarks by Karen Brown, Acting NIST Director, at the NIST Centennial Gala, March 6, 2001, Washington, DC.
bullet Remarks by Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), at the NIST Centennial Gala, March 6, 2001, Washington, DC.
bullet Members of the news media interested in more centennial information should contact Michael Newman.

Find out what NIST is doing today and how it affects you:

bullet NIST in Your House
bullet NIST and Your City
bullet NIST homepage

General NIST inquiries: Public Inquiries Unit: (301) 975-NIST (6478) , TTY (301) 975-8295
NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 3460, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-3460.

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Date created: 11/1/2000
Last updated: 8/14/07
Contact: inquiries@nist.gov