Joseph Henry's Letter to James Lenox (March 18, 1845)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to James Lenox, a trustee of Princeton University, March 18, 1845. In the letter, Henry advises Lenox how to protect his house from lightning strike with a lightning rod. Joseph Henry was an American physicist who specialized in electricity and electromagnetism.


  • Lenox, James 1800-1880
  • Princeton University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-0965, SIA2012-0966, SIA2012-0967, SIA2012-0968, SIA2012-0969, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 6, pages 255-259.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 8, Folder: 14 - January-March 1845
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 6, The Princeton Years: January 1844-December 1846 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 255-259

Contact information

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


March 18, 1845

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Electricity
  • Secretaries
  • Lightning
  • Letters
  • Science
  • Lightning rods
  • Physicists
  • Electromagnets
  • Electromagnetism


United States


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2863 and SIA2012-2864 and SIA2012-2865 and SIA2012-2866

Physical description

Number of Images: 4 ; Color: Color ; Size: 8 3/4w x 11 1/4h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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