Henry, Joseph, an American electrician and meteorologist, was born about 1799 at Albany, New York. While a watchmaker's apprentice he eagerly devoted himself to scientific studies, with such success that in 1832 he was made professor of natural philosophy at Princeton. In 1846 he became secretary of the newly-founded Smithsonian Institution, and held this post almost until his death in 1878. He made important discoveries in connection with the electro-magnet, and took much interest in meteorology, being first chairman of the National Lighthouse Board. A memorial of him was published by order of Congress in 1880.