Joseph Henry's Albany Magnet

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Joseph Henry's Albany magnet. Henry, who would later become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was the first to construct an electromagnet formed by tightly wrapping multiple coils of an insulated conducting wire around an iron bar.


Henry, Joseph 1797-1878


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Image copied from old photograph, N.M.A.H. Cat. No. 181,451c.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-006

Contact information

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


c. 1820s

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Scientific apparatus and instruments
  • Secretaries
  • Inventions
  • Science
  • Electromagnets
  • Magnets
  • Electromagnetism


  • Albany (N.Y.)
  • United States


  • Object
  • Negative

ID Number

MAH-39040 or 39,040

Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 6.5w x 8.5h ; Type of Image: Object ; Medium: Negative

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