The Henry

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Article looks at the International Congress of Electricians' meeting in Chicago in August 1893, where they assigned names to eight different units for measuring electricity. The unit for measuring induction was named the "henry," for Joseph Henry. The author describes the meanings of each unit of measurement along with the chief discoveries of their namesakes, devoting the longest discussion to the work of Joseph Henry. He describes Henry's development of a powerful electromagnet, his independent discovery of electromagnetic induction, his becoming the first to discover self-induction, and a number of related discoveries. He also addresses the work of English physicist Michael Faraday, whose electrical research paralleled Henry's.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Faraday, Michael 1791-1867
  • International Electrical Congress


Smithsonian History Bibliography

Contained within

The Atlantic Monthly Vol. 73, Issue 439 (Journal)

Contact information

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




  • Electricity
  • Electromagnets
  • Physical measurements
  • Electromagnetic Induction

Physical description

Number of pages: 10; Page numbers: 605-614

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