Joseph Henry's Letter to Thaddeus Lowe (March 11, 1861)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Thaddeus Lowe, a balloonist, March 11, 1861. In the letter, Henry describes the "currents of the atmosphere and the possibility of an application of a knowledge of them to aerial navigation." Lowe had written to Henry seeking advice on his hot air ballooning.


Lowe, T. S. C (Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt) 1832-1913


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


3 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, pages 199-201 (Document 106).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, The Smithsonian Years: January 1858-December 1865 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2004), 199-201

Contact information

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


March 11, 1861

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Balloons (Aircraft)
  • Secretaries
  • Atmosphere
  • Letters
  • Aeronautics
  • Ballooning


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-0031 and SIA2012-0032 and SIA2012-0033

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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