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Henry, Joseph

Born in Albany, New York. Married Harriet L. Alexander, a first cousin, in May 1830. They had six children. Apprenteced as a watchmaker and jeweler. Attended Albany Academy.

Professor of mathematics at Albany Academy after 1826. Professor at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton, after 1832. Henry was an inventor who improved several devices relating to the electromagnet. He discovered the properties of induced current. The unit of measurement for such currents is named for Henry.

On December 14, 1846, he became the first secretary and director of the Smithsonian Institution. Served as president of the National Academy of Sciences 1868 to 1878. He died at home in Washington, D.C.

Henry appears on a mint medal (Julian PE-14) honoring him as Director of the Smithsonian from 1846 to 1878. Dies were cut by William Barber. Henry was also honored indirectly on the reverse of the Assay Commission medal of 1879 (Julian AC-19). Dies were also by William Barber.

bio: ApCAB; DAB; Drake; EAB; NCAB 3; WAB; WWWA-H


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    English Coins: Copper, Tin & Bronze 1879

    English Coins: Copper, Tin & Bronze

    Full title: "The Series of English Coins, in Copper, Tin, & Bronze", J. Henry, 1879.

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