Joseph Henry Presents Contributions IV: On Electro-Dynamic Induction (Continued)

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Joseph Henry (1797-1878), physicist and professor at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), delivers the first part of a paper on the continuation of research described in his Contributions III, published the previous year. He remains focused on galvanic induction and develops a framework for understanding both galvanic and static induction through the application of a few simple laws. Henry would present the second part of Contributions IV on November 20, 1840. This is his fourth in a series of articles on electricity and magnetism for the American Philosophical Society. His complete findings are published in 1843 in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 8, pp. 1-35. In 1846, Joseph Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • American Philosophical Society


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Contributions IV 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. 168-69.
  • 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. xiii-xiv, 460 (index entry).
  • "Contributions to Electricity and Magnetism. No. IV. On Electro-Dynamic Induction. (Continued.)" Scientific Writings of Joseph Henry. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 30. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1887, pp. 149-88.

Contact information

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


June 19, 1840


  • Magnetic induction
  • Electricity
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Electromagnets
  • Magnetism
  • Physics
  • Electromagnetism

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