Joseph Henry's Yale Magnet

ID: 74-4407_cn

Creator: Harrell, Alfred

Form/Genre: Object

Date: 1974

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-009

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Joseph Henry's Yale magnet, showing windings and conductors for connection to the battery. Shortly after completing an article on his electromagnet for Benjamin Silliman's American Journal of Science, Joseph Henry, who would later become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, began making a large electromagnet for Silliman to demonstrate to his students at Yale c. 1830s. The 82.5 -pound magnet proved capable of supporting more than 2,000 pounds.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Silliman, Benjamin 1816-1885
  • Yale University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


N.M.A.H. Cat. No. 181,343.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-009

Contact information

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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


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


United States


  • Object
  • Negative

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Color ; Size: 4w x 5h ; Type of Image: Object ; Medium: Negative

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