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“Power Supply” exhibition opening Oct. 23

MIT High-Voltage Generator, 1933.
MIT High-Voltage Generator, 1933.
Institute Archives and Special Collections

MIT’s longtime interest in energy is the focus of an exhibit in the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery. The exhibit showcases “energy resources” in the Libraries that have supported and resulted from research and education throughout the Institute’s history.

It reveals that MIT’s roots in energy can be traced all the way back to William Barton Rogers. When the visionary educator and geologist founded MIT in 1861, "King Coal" ruled the energy landscape. The steam engine, and the coal that fueled it, had revolutionized transportation and industry. The demand for coal increased, and the search for additional energy sources intensified.

Through their research, faculty and students at MIT improved processes for discovery and extraction of fuels, maximized the energy that could be derived from various fuel sources, and increased the efficiency of engines and machines. During the 20th century, MIT made crucial contributions to research on petroleum and the internal combustion engine, solar, wind, and water power, nuclear energy, and numerous other energy sources and technologies. Today MIT innovations are at the forefront of clean energy research with solar cell, battery, nuclear, biological, and other energy technologies.

The exhibit includes books and articles from historical collections, examples of rich working collections, theses by MIT students, and video highlighting MIT’s current efforts in energy research.

The MIT community is invited to an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m. in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130).

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