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A Guy Named Joe

Scrolling through the Libraries online exhibition, Scientific Identity, you will see a lot of famous Joes, including Joseph PriestleyJoseph Ferdinand Keppler, and Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande. Today we're featuring Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian Institution Archives has a number of quotes by Henry on the institution and its role in research in this country:

. . .the principal object of the organization is the discovery of new truths, rather than the application of known principles to useful purposes.

Smithsonian Annual Report for 1851, p. 10.

Should the government of the United States be dissolved, and the Smithsonian fund dissipated to the winds, the "Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge" will still be found in the principal libraries of the world, a perpetual monument of the wisdom and liberality of the founder of the Institution, and of the faithfulness of those who first directed its affairs.

Smithsonian Annual Report for 1852, p. 12.

Portrait of Joseph Henry

One Comment

  1. I actually don’t have any idea about this man, that’s why it is nice to know some information about Mr.Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.Thanks for sharing this with us.Great information.

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