Joseph Henry's Letter to Increase Allen Lapham (August 3, 1855)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Increase Allen Lapham, founder of the Wisconsin Natural History Association, August 3, 1855. In the letter, Henry inquires about the specifics of the recent death of a man in Wisconsin who was struck by lightning deflected by a lightning rod on the roof.


  • Lapham, Increase Allen 1811-1875
  • Wisconsin Natural History Association


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


2 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 9, pages 276-277 (Document 154).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 9, The Smithsonian Years: January 1854-December 1857 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2002), 276-277

Contact information

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


August 3, 1855

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Secretaries
  • Lightning
  • Letters
  • Causes
  • Science
  • Death
  • Lightning rods
  • Societies
  • Meteorology
  • Death--Causes
  • Science--Societies, etc




  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-0394 and SIA2012-0395

Physical description

Number of Images: 2 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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