Joseph Henry Nominated for Copley Medal

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Joseph Henry is nominated by the Royal Society of London's Committee of Physics to receive the Copley Medal for his contributions to electrical science. His recent article, "Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. III. On Electro-Dynamic Induction," is cited in the nomination as especially valuable. Although Henry did not receive the award, the Copley Medal is one of the most prestigious scientific awards in the world and to be nominated is a great honor. In 1846, Henry is appointed the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Royal Society of London


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • 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. 295-96.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, p. 166.

Contact information

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


October 30, 1839


  • Awards and Honors
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnets
  • Magnetics
  • Physics
  • Electromagnetism

Full Record

View Full Record