U.S. National Bureau of Standards
National Bureau of Standards, later named the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), created in 1901.
“It is therefore the unanimous opinion of your committee that no more essential aid could be given to manufacturing, commerce, the makers of scientific apparatus, the scientific work of the government, of schools, colleges and universities, than by the establishment of the institution proposed in this bill.”
Report on bill to establish the National Bureau of Standards, House of Representatives, May 14, 1900
The federal government’s first physical science research laboratory was chartered by Congress on March 3, 1901, as the National Bureau of Standards. NBS became the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1988.
A century after its founding, NIST’s mission continues to evolve, meeting changing societal challenges by developing measurements and standards that strengthen the U.S. economy and improve our quality of life.
Recognizing the critical importance of chemical measures and standards, NIST established the Chemistry Division as one of its first programs. Today, the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, one of the Institute’s seven measurement and standards laboratories, offers the most comprehensive range of chemical, physical and engineering measurement capabilities in its field.
The American Chemical Society designated the National Institute of Standards and Technology a National Historic Chemical Landmark on December 5, 2001, in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Visit National Historic Chemical Landmarks to read more about the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Excerpted with permission, National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program