JOSEPH HENRY, one of America's greatest scientists, was born at Albany, New York, December 17, 1797. He was
edncated in the common schools of the city and graduated from the Albany Academy, where he became a professor of
mathematics in 1826. In 1827 he commenced a course of investigation, which he continued for a number of years,
and the results pro duced had great effect on the scientific world, The first success was achieved by producing
the electric magnet, and he next proved the possibility of exciting magnetic energy at a distance, and it was the
invention of Professor Henry's intensity magnet that first made the invention of electric telegraph a possibility.
He made a statement regarding the practicability of applying the intensity magnet to telegraphic uses, in his article
to the "American Journal of Science" in 1831. During the same year he produced the first mechanical contrivance
ever invented for maintaining continuous motion by means of electro magnetism, and he also contrived a machine
by which signals could be made at a distance by the use of his electro magnet, the signals being produced by a
lever striking on a bell, Some of his electro rnagnets were of great power, one carried over a ton and another
not less than three thousand six hundred pounds. In 1832 he discovered that secondary currents could be produced
long conductor by the induction of the primary current upon itself, and also in the same year he produced a spark
by means of a purely magnetic induction. professor Henry was elected, in 1832, professor of natural philosophy
in the College of New Jersey, and in his earliest lectures at Princeton, demonstrated the feasibility of t!he electric
telegraph. He visited Europe in 1837, and while there he had an interview with Professor Wheatstone, the inventor
of the needle magnetic telegraph. In 1846 he was elected secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, being the first
in cumbent in that office, which he held until his death. Professor Henry was elected president of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, in 1849, and of the National Academy of Sciences. He was made chairman
of the lighthouse board of the United States in 1871 and held that position up to the time of his death. He received
the honorary degree of doctor of laws from Union College in 1829, and from Harvard University in 1851, and his
death occurred May 13, 1878. Among his numerous works may be mentioned the following: "Contributions to Electricity
and Magnetism," "American Philosophic Trans," and many articles in the "American Journal of
Science," the journal of the Franklin Institute; the proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, and in the annual reports of the Smithsonian Institution from its foundation.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
Online Biographies is part of the RatsNest Group of websites which is striving
to be your one stop source for History, Biographies and New England
Genealogy. Please fell free to use all ouf sites as often as you need
them, that is what they are here for. If you have a web site you are always welcome to link to any of the pages
that we have online. Remember that new pages are being added all the time so you will find something new on most
There are now over 10,000 biographies at this web site.
Names A to H
Names I to Z
Biographies of the Presidents.
Railway Officials in America 1906
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium