Joseph Henry's Home in Princeton, New Jersey

ID: SIA2012-2992 or 44308

Creator: Joseph Henry Papers Project

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1861

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 6

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Joseph Henry's home in Princeton, New Jersey, where from 1832-1846 he taught natural philosophy, or physics, at the College of New Jersey, today known as Princeton University and lived there from its completion in 1838 until taking a position as the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846. It was to this house that Professor Henry sent telegraphic messages (sometimes to order lunch) from his laboratory in Philosophical Hall. In addition to natural philosophy (physics), Henry taught chemistry, geology, mineralogy, astronomy, and architecture. Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.)
  • Princeton University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • The stone house, probably designed by Joseph Henry, was completed in 1838; in 1870: House moved, brick by brick, to site behind East College; 1925: House moved, intact, to corner of Washington Road and Nassau Street by the Eichleay Company; 1946: House moved, again, and to its present location on the Front Campus across from Maclean House by the Eichleay Company. In 1965 it was Declared a National Historic Landmark.
  • The construction of the house was part the compensation offered to the young physicist.
  • See SIA2012-8400 for Henry's house at its last location.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 6

Contact information

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


c. 1861

Restrictions & Rights



  • Secretariats
  • Secretaries


Princeton (N.J.)


  • Photographic print
  • Exterior

ID Number

SIA2012-2992 or 44308

Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 10w x 8h ; Type of Image: Exterior ; Medium: Photographic print

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