Joseph Henry

A Life in Science

Joseph Henry (1797–1878), first Smithsonian Secretary and renowned physicist, served the Institution for over thirty years. Learn how Henry helped set the Institution on its course and explore his impact on the Smithsonian and the scientific world by reading articles about Henry's scientific accomplishments and Smithsonian career; get information about the twelve-volume edition of The Papers of Joseph Henry; discover Henry’s namesakes; view a selection of Henry documents online; and find information about Henry’s correspondence database.

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