From the beginning

In 1846, William Barton Rogers envisioned a small Boston school of practical science that would be firmly based on physical science, emphasize lab work, encourage public lectures and finally expand into a great institution comprehending the whole field of physical science and the arts.

Opening the MIT 150 Exhibition

Celebrating the Institute’s 150th birthday, The MIT 150 Exhibition is capturing the Institute’s unique qualities, and it has done so in a unique way—involving the entire community in the interpretation and presentation of its most treasured objects. These artifacts show what makes the MIT environment so distinctive and so productive of innovative solutions for the world’s challenges.

Beginning in spring 2009, students, faculty members, alumni, staff and other interested parties could nominate their favorite pieces of Institute history here on this website. In fall 2009, after several hundred objects and ideas were nominated, we held an open vote, which allowed all visitors to the website to vote for their favorite nominated objects. Voting concluded on January 1, 2010. The results helped us winnow out 150 especially compelling and significant MIT objects for the Exhibition.

Please visit the new website for The MIT 150 Exhibition at

You can also still see the original MIT 150 Nominations web site where thousands of you helped us select what would go into this exhibition.

You also, finally, will be able to contemplate and debate the 150 objects picked to represent the Institute over the entire 150-year sweep of its history. Among them, the first artifact selected is below. Last year, in a student competition at the Museum, the class of 2011 won the right to enshrine their treasured Brass Rat ring in the Exhibition.

2011 Brass Rat

2011 Brass Rat