to be made, because, until Prof. Henry's electro-magnet was invented, it was an impossibility. This electro-magnetic telephone, made by Prof. Henry in 1830, is the thing in universal use to-day. It goes by the erroneous name of the 'Morse telegraph;' and it will be in use till the end of time. The thing was perfect as it came from the hand of its author, and has never been improved from that day to this as a sounding telegraph."
Having immortalized himself by these brilliant researches of the laboratory, Prof. Henry was called into a more conspicuous sphere of action as the organizer and administrator of a great public enterprise of national scope in connection with the progress of science. John Smithson, an English chemist and physicist, and member of the Royal Society, had left upward of half a million dollars as a trust to the American Government, to be used for "the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." How this language was to be construed and how the money was to be expended were open questions. The Washington politicians were in favor of spending it on buildings, libraries, and museums to be established at the national capital, and the whole fund would probably have been buried and lost in this way, but for the influence of Prof. Henry. He was appointed, in 1846, as secretary and principal executive officer of the Institution, and at once applied all his energies to rescue the fund from the misdirection that had been given to it, and to devise more efficient means of obtaining the comprehensive object to which it was devoted. As Smithson was a man of science, and an original investigator of that "natural knowledge" which the Royal Society of Great Britain, of which he was a fellow, was founded to promote, Prof. Henry fairly and justly assumed that the intention of the donor was the increase and diffusion of scientific knowledge—increase and augmentation by research and organized systems of observation, and diffusion by means of extended publication. Henry's policy, therefore, was to diminish expenditures upon buildings, libraries, museums, and art-galleries, that the money might be devoted to wider and more legitimate purposes. He took the ground that the Institution ought to do nothing which can be equally well done by any organization or instrumentality already in action. He accordingly drew up a scheme of operations which provided for extensive researches especially in the fields of ethnology and of meteorology. He had for many years five hundred meteorological observers scattered over the continent, accumulating data designed to elucidate the laws which govern the phenomena of the weather. This branch of work, begun on so thorough a scale by the Smithsonian Institution, has developed into the Signal Service and Weather Bureau in Washington, now so important to the agriculture and commerce of the country. In the department of publications the public has been furnished with the "Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge," now consisting of many large quarto volumes, all valuable as positive additions to the sum of existing knowledge. Besides these, the Institution has put forth the "Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections," and "Annual Reports," all of which are intrinsically valuable for the information they contain, and are very widely circulated through the country. Prof. Henry's plan also comprehended an extensive system of exchanges of works, proceedings, and reports, between the literary and scientific associations of the Old and New World. All these features of Prof. Henry's broad and liberal scheme of administering the Smithsonian trust have been carried out vigorously, and with a degree of success that has commanded universal approval. An administration of thirty years has settled the policy of the Institution, and will undoubtedly shape its future, and it is very doubtful if there was another man in the United States that could have done