Joseph Henry A Life in Science

Learn about the scientific research of Joseph Henry (1797–1878), first Smithsonian Secretary and renowned physicist, and how he helped set the Institution on its course.

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Henry's World Gallery

Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was a physicist from near Albany, New York, who taught at the Albany Academy and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and was named the first Secretary of the Smithsonian in 1846, serving until his death in 1878.  While Smithsonian Secretary, he lived with his family in the east wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle.