Selected Readings


Most Recent: Moyer, Albert E. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, 1997.

Earlier Standard: Coulson, Thomas. Joseph Henry: His Life and Work. Princeton, N.J., 1950.

Sketch: Reingold, Nathan. "Joseph Henry." In The Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 6, edited by Charles C. Gillispie, 277-281. New York, 1972.

Contemporary Tributes: A Memorial of Joseph Henry. Washington, 1880.

Juvenile: Riedman, Sarah R. Trailblazer of American Science. New York, 1961.


Bruce, Robert V. The Launching of Modern American Science, 1846-1876. Ithaca, New York, 1987.

Kohlstedt, Sally Gregory. The Formation of the American Scientific Community: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1848-60. Chicago, 1976.

Molella, Arthur P. "The Electric Motor, the Telegraph, and Joseph Henry's Theory of Technological Progress." Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 64 (September 1976): 1273-1278.

Reingold, Nathan, and Arthur P. Molella. "Theorists and Ingenious Mechanics: Joseph Henry Defines Science." Science Studies 3 (October 1973): 323-351.


Fleming, James Rodger. Meteorology in America, 1800-1870. Baltimore and London, 1990.

Hafertepe, Kenneth. America's Castle: The Evolution of the Smithsonian Building and Its Institution, 1840-1878. Washington, 1984.

Hinsley, Curtis M., Jr. The Smithsonian Institution and the American Indian: Making a Moral Anthropology in Victorian America. Washington, 1994.

Reingold, Nathan, and Marc Rothenberg. "The Exploring Expedition and the Smithsonian Institution." In Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, edited by Herman J. Viola and Carolyn Margolis, 242-253. Washington, 1985.

Washburn, Wilcomb E. "Joseph Henry's Conception of the Purpose of the Smithsonian Institution." In A Cabinet of Curiosities: Five Episodes in the Evolution of American Museums, described by Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., et al., 106-166. Charlottesville, 1967.

Washburn, Wilcomb E. "The Museum and Joseph Henry." Curator 8 (1965): 35-54.

For additional readings on the history of the Smithsonian Institution, consult the Smithsonian History Bibliography in the "Research/Bibliographies" catalog of the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System.


Swartz, Barbara Myers. "Joseph Henry--America's Premier Physics Teacher." The Physics Teacher 16 (September 1978): 348-357.

Weiner, Charles I. "Joseph Henry and the Relations between Teaching and Research." American Journal of Physics 34 (July 1966): 1093-1100.

Weiner, Charles I. "Joseph Henry's Lectures on Natural Philosophy: Teaching and Research in Physics, 1832-1847." Ph.D. diss., Case Institute of Technology, 1965.


The Scientific Writings of Joseph Henry. 2 vols. Washington, 1887.

A Scientist in American Life: Essays and Lectures of Joseph Henry. Edited by Arthur P. Molella, et al. Washington, 1980.

The Papers of Joseph Henry. Vols. 1-5 edited by Nathan Reingold, et al. Washington, 1972-1985. Vols. 6-11 edited by Marc Rothenberg, et al. Washington, 1992-2007.


Reed, Herbert B. "Joseph Henry and Lighthouse Board Activities on Staten Island." The Staten Island Historian 28 (Jan.-March 1967): 3-5.

Reingold, Nathan. "The New York State Roots of Joseph Henry's National Career." New York History 54 (April 1973): 133-144.

Rezneck, Samuel. "Joseph Henry Learns Geology on the Erie Canal." New York History 50 (January 1969): 29-42.

Sands, John O. "The U.S. Light-House Board: Progress through Process." American Neptune 47 (1987): 174-192.

Silverman, S.M. "Joseph Henry and John Henry Lefroy: A Common 19th Century Vision of Auroral Research." Eos 70 (April 11, 1989): 227-240.

White, Leslie A., "The Correspondence Between Lewis Henry Morgan and Joseph Henry." The University of Rochester Library Bulletin 12 (Winter 1957): 17-22.


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