The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum complex and research organization. It is made up of 19 museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoo. The Smithsonian is funded and administered by the U.S. government, with most of its facilities in Washington, DC. The Smithsonian was founded in 1846,from a bequest by British scientist James Smithson, who had never visited the United States. Although the institution’s first secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Smithsonian to be a center for scientific research, it quickly became a depository for various Washington and U.S. government collections. Its National Air and Space Museum is the most popular of the museums within the complex.