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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Joseph Henry
Sculptor: William Wetmore Story
Location: The Mall
( Jefferson Drive & 10th )
Henry (1797-1878) was an outstanding scientist and served as the first secretary of the Smithsonian. He perfected the electromagnet and is posed leaning against one. He organized the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was president of the National Academy of Sciences for ten years.
His original concept for the Smithsonian was for it to serve as a research institution and, during his tenure, the Castle was a library and study space where scientists could come to consult and research. As visiting scientists left behind exhibits related to their research, the Smithsonian began to take on its current character as a museum system. Henry and his family lived in the Castle for twenty-nine years.
The statue was created by an act of Congress and John Philip Sousa composed The Transit of Venus March for the unveiling in 1883.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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