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Lecture: Joseph Henry (1797- 1878)

The lecture celebrating Joseph Henry was given by the Smithsonian Institution's Roger Sherman (National Museum of American History) and Steven Madewell (National Science Resources Center). Mr. Sherman is Associate Curator with special responsibility for the Modern Physics Collection at the Museum of American History. Mr. Madewell is also at Smithsonian as Program Manager of the Professional Development Center within the National Science Resources Center.

Joseph Henry, the physicist and natural philosopher, made fundamental contributions to the understanding of electromagnetism and telegraphy, and greatly influenced the formation of the Srnithsonian Institution, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is considered the greatest American scientist of the early U.S., following Benjamin Franklin. His discoveries include the electromagnetic effects of self-inductance, mutual inductance (independently of Michael Faraday), and the fabrication of large magnets. His work on the electromagnetic relay was the basis of the electrical telegraph, jointly invented by Samuel Morse and Charles Wheatstone, whose invention may have been anticipated by Henry.

The celebratory dinner and lecture was held at the Arts Club of Washington's President James Monroe's House on April 5th, 2008.