Joseph Henry Medal Awarded

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact
Download IIIF ManifestRequest permissionsDownload image Print


  • The Smithsonian Board of Regents passes a resolution to award the Joseph Henry Medal for exceptional service to the Smithsonian Institution. The first three medals are awarded to David E. Finley, Director, National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1967; Frank A. Taylor, Director General of Museums, founding director of the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History in 1968; and Charles G. Abbot, astrophysicist and fifth Smithsonian Secretary in 1970.
  • Joseph Henry Medal was created to honor Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1846 to 1878. The likeness of Henry is probably based on the bust of Henry by sculptor Clark Mills. The medal was molded in 1879, by William Barber, born in London, England, in 1807, and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1879, and Charles Barber, born in London, England, in 1840 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1917.


  • Mills, Clark
  • Barber, Charles Edward 1840-1917
  • Barber, William 1807-1879
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Finley, David E
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • United States Mint
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • William Barber to Spencer F. Baird, 15 May 1878; and William Barber to Miss [Mary?] Henry, 9 June 1879, Joseph Henry Collection, Record Unit 7001, Box 39, Smithsonian Institution Archives.
  • Board of Regents Meeting, 25 January 1967, Office of the Secretary, Record Unit 99 , Box 1, Smithsonian Institution Archives.
  • David Ferry, trans., The Odes of Horace. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997, 64-65.

Contact information

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


January 25, 1967


  • Secretariats
  • Awards
  • Secretaries
  • Joseph Henry Medal
  • Medals

Full Record

View Full Record