Joseph Henry Presents Contributions III: On Electro-Dynamic Induction

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  • Joseph Henry delivers a seminal paper on induced currents, achievement of the transformer effect, and static induction. It is his third in a series of articles on electricity and magnetism for the American Philosophical Society.
  • His complete findings are published in 1839 in "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society," vol. 6, pp. 303-37. As a result, British scientists Michael Faraday and Charles Wheatstone nominate Henry for the Royal Society of London's Copley Medal, one of the most prestigious scientific awards in the world. In 1846, Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • American Philosophical Society


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Contributions III appears at The experiments leading up to this paper are described throughout Volume 3 of the Papers of Joseph Henry.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, pp. 166-68.
  • Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Princeton Years, January 1838 - December 1840, vol. 4. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979, pp. xii-xiii, 460 (index entry).
  • "Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. III. On Electro-Dynamic Induction." Scientific Writings of Joseph Henry. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 30. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1887, pp. 108-45.

Contact information

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


November 2, 1838


  • Magnetic induction
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Presentations

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