Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. He was highly regarded during his lifetime. While building electromagnets, Henry discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance. He also discovered mutual inductance independently of Michael Faraday, though Faraday was the first to publish his results. Henry developed the electromagnet into a practical device. He invented a precursor to the electric doorbell and electric relay. The SI unit of inductance, the henry, is named in his honor. Henry's work on the electromagnetic relay was the basis of the practical electrical telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse and Charles Wheatstone separately.