The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum is devoted to mountaineering,
the mountains, science and art, and the dissemination of knowledge--all things that Bradford
Washburn exemplified. His legacy lives on through our exhibits and artifacts.
Henry Bradford Washburn Jr. was born on June 7, 1910, in Cambridge, Mass. He first climbed
Mt. Washington at the age of 11. Two years later, his mother gave him his first camera, a Kodak
Brownie, the point-and-shoot of the day. He remained passionate about climbing and
photography for the rest of his life.
In 1939, he was named director of the New England Museum of Natural History in Boston. For
the next 40 years he remained the director, bringing about the relocation and renaming of the
museum--to Boston's Museum of Science--and transforming the original museum's uninspired
collection into a leading center for science.
Washburn was still pioneering cartographic methods on Mt. Everest while in his 80s. Using
global positioning techniques, he produced an exquisite example of the blending of art and
science through mapping, and in the process determined a new height for Everest at 29,035 feet.