Joseph Henry's Letter to John Wise (July 1873)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to John Wise, an American balloonist, sent in early July, 1873. In the letter, Henry suggests that Wise demonstrate the abilities and benefits of hot air ballooning by making a trip across the United States, rather than across the Atlantic Ocean, due to the obivous hazards of ocean crossing ventures.


Wise, John 1808-1879


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2011-2799, SIA2011-2800, and SIA2011-2801, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 11, pages 460-462 (Document 214).

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 33, Box 13, Folder: Volume 35
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, The Smithsonian Years: January 1866-May 1878 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2007), 460-462

Contact information

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


July 1873

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Balloons (Aircraft)
  • Hot air balloons
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • Aeronautics
  • Science
  • Ballooning


United States


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-6801 and SIA2012-6802 and SIA2012-6803

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 7.98w x 10.00h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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