Joseph Henry's Letter to the Editor of the Newark Daily Advertiser (August 1, 1838)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to the Editor of the Newark Daily Advertiser, a New Jersey newspaper, August 1, 1838. In the letter, Henry refutes a previously printed article that described a new kind of lightning rod. Henry states that the new rod, designed by Dr. William King, a Boston, Massachusetts, scientist who studied electricity, was not actually an improved design to the rods in use at the time. The letter was printed in the newspaper. Joseph Henry was an American physicist who specialized in electricity and electromagnetism.


  • King, William
  • Princeton University
  • Newark (N.J.) Daily Advertiser (Newspaper)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-0884, SIA2012-0885, and SIA2012-0886, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 4, pages 81-83.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 7, Folder: 24 - July - September 1838
  • Reingold, Nathan, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 4, The Princeton Years: January 1838-December 1840 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1981), 81-83

Contact information

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


August 1, 1838

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Electricity
  • Secretaries
  • Lightning
  • Letters
  • Newspapers
  • Science
  • Lightning rods
  • Meteorology


  • United States
  • New Jersey


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2932 and SIA2012-2933 and SIA2012-2934

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 8 1/4w x 10 1/2h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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