Talk:Joseph Henry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Assorted[edit]

I note this page is linked to Casualties of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: City of New York where firefighter Joseph Henry is listed among those killed. He should be mentioned here. I would do it myself, but am too depressed from reading the names of the dead. - Paul, in Saudi 17:15, 16 January 2004 (UTC)

What an AH!!![edit]

Some philanthropic AH left this line on the very top of the front page:

joseph henry was the cockiest person of his time, and that is why he named his SI unit after himself, what an asshole

As I remarked in my book on Henry's friend, Prof. Thaddeus Lowe:

"The perception of Lowe (or Henry) as pompous, unyielding, egotistical, and overbearing is best left to those who can only envy their brilliance if they cannot possess it." Magi Media 19:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)Magi Media

Influences in Aeronautics[edit]

The section on Lowe is far longer than all the discussion of Henry's groundbreaking electrical work. I recommend that this section be boiled down to 2 sentences with a link to the main Lowe article. The implication is that Henry's connection to Lowe is his main claim to fame, which is not at all the case.

The edited section could be something like "Prof. Henry was introduced to Prof. Thaddeus Lowe, a balloonist from New Hampshire who had taken interest in the phenomena of lighter-than-air gases, and exploits into meteorology, in particular, the high winds which we call the Jet stream today. Henry had been in charge of weather observation in New York for several years in his early career, and could see how a baloon could navigate by ascending to different altitudes where the wind direction naturally varied. While lecturing at the Albany Academy, Henry had done several interesting demonstrations on pneumatics and had studied the combustion of hydrocarbons. Henry took a great interest in Lowe's endeavors so much as to support and promote him among some of the more prominent scientists and institutions of the day. On Henry's recommendation Lowe went on to form the Union Army Balloon Corps and served two years with the Army of the Potomac as a Civil War Aeronaut."Edison 14:41, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your note on Henry's article. This edit was done when I was first writing for wikipedia, and my exuberance did find me overwriting articles. There's obviously something more to Prof. Henry than his electrical work. He seemed to be a highly revered man of science with great influence around Washington. For the fact that he became very involved with Lowe prior to and during the war is of great significance, especially if he is an electrical scientist working with a gasman like Lowe. His letter to Cameron is of particular interest because he is a man of science and not just an "electrician." (I say with tongue in cheek.) He had a similar letter written to Capt Whipple of the Topographical Engineers, Lowe's first assignment, digging into the nuts and bolts of ballooning with the intent of influencing him to retain Lowe's services. He had the whole of the scientific community interested in Lowe's projects. But I am not so married to the article that I can't see the section edited. So feel free to truncate it.
By the way! Prof. Lowe was extremely proficient working around the volatile gas. Hydrogen has a rise rate of 400 feet per second, so with the envelope well over his head, he was not wafting around in a cloud of hydrogen gas where a telegraph spark might do a Hindenburg on him. He used to go up in the dark using his oxyhydrogen lamps to light his inflation procedures. That's alot of hydrogen gas, but Lowe's safety record was impeccable.
Thanks again! Magi Media 03:04, 13 June 2006 (UTC)Magi Media

Ding Dong![edit]

about.com claims he invented the doorbell in 1831... is it to be considered reliable? Lo'oris - ロホリス 22:05, 25 September 2006 (UTC) (crosspost with the doorbell talk page)

I would conjecture that the door buzzer preceded the "ding-dong" doorbell. It is a simple magnetic device, but one that requires alternating current to operate. There were never any homes with electrical provisions prior to 1900 that would call for the use of electric doorbells. So we can pretty much put this one in the dust bin. That any type of electrical buzzing device was developed is still highly unlikely. The only thing that really used a magnetic conductor was the telegraph, and it was a keyed DC current device, not a buzzer. Many late 1800 homes had cranking bells at the door. It isn't until city electrification comes about that an electric door summoning device is even applicable. A Ralph Corbett is accredited with developing a two toned doorbell which was marketed by Nu Tone in 1936. --Magi Media (talk) 05:42, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the buzzer is a simple magnetic device and preceded the ding-dong doorbell. But the buzzer does not require "alternating current to operate". The buzzer generates AC. The principle of repetitively interrupting DC battery current whenever an electromagnet attracts an armature is so simple that it would be obvious to Henry and must have been accidently rediscovered by numerous electrical experimenters and technicians. The next step of using a buzzer as a door-bell would also be obvious because electromagnets were being used to trigger mechanical "annunciators" shortly after the electromagnet was invented. Each annunciator was an electromagnet which attracted an armature which unlatched a hinged flap of brass which rotated by its own weight to a visible position that "announced" a visitor who pressed a button at the door to connect battery current to the electromagnet. Sorry, I don't have a reference for this; this from memory. Greensburger (talk) 16:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Moyer's 1997 Biography[edit]

I've added a reference to the (relatively) recent biography: Moyer, Albert E., Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1997. Moyer's a History of Science professor at Virgina Tech; perhaps someone should recruit him for this article. Anyway, the biography was partly supported by the Smithsonian, and was intended to celebrate the bicentennial of Henry's birth. I'm not prepared yet to make any changes to the main article based on my reading of this biography. I am, however, not a fan of Coulson's biography. I also have a pleasant, children's biography in my collection: Jahns, Patricia, Joseph Henry: Father of American Electronics, Rutledge Books, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1970. - EAS 02:19, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Single battery vs Multiple batteries[edit]

WRT the comment on winding an electromagnet when using a single battery vs multiple batteries. At the risk of being pedantic, should this be single-cell battery vs multiple batteries or does it really mean a single battery (regardless of number of cells) vs multiple batteries? Why is this difference in winding significant? - Michael Daly 19:41, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I was intending to comment on this very point when I saw that the point had already been made. I would have edited the entry but I could not make out what the point of the entry was. If it cannot be clarified, I would suggest removing it altogether, — Preceding unsigned comment added by PEBill (talkcontribs) 11:55, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Trivia section[edit]

I removed the unreferenced candy-bar trivia section. - Astrochemist 01:01, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Family life?[edit]

Maybe add a little section about his family life? I know his wife was his maternal first cousin and they had four children that survived infancy... added them to the infobox. Don't have time now to dig through the Smithsonian's online files on him, but poked around enough to tell that they have a lot of information. And his daughter Mary wrote a fairly historically important diary: an observation of the Civil War in D.C. Enchanting catalyst (talk) 15:58, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Joseph Henry. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.


Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:57, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Joseph Henry. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.


Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)