Joseph Henry and Lewis C. Beck Construct Scale of Chemical Equivalents

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Joseph Henry and fellow scientist Lewis C. Beck construct a scale of chemical equivalents under the direction of English chemist William Hyde Wollaston, who published the first such scale in 1814. Henry's and Beck's scale is said be "nearly twice the length of Wollaston's" with "the names of more than double the substances," and to be far more precise. Its formal publication date is September 1827. In 1846, Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Beck, Lewis C (Lewis Caleb) 1798-1853
  • Wollaston, William Hyde 1766-1828


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Albany Years, December 1797 - October 1832, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972, pp.184-87, 191-97.

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Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Chemistry
  • Scientific apparatus and instruments

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