In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Honorific.”
If it were in my power to choose one person who has best served mankind/womankind I think I would chose a country school teacher – Joseph Henry. He understood the theory of electromagnetism well enough to explain its function others. It was from him that Morse and Wheatstone learned how to use electromagnets while of designing their first electric telegraph systems.
I chose Henry because the sharing of his knowledge didn’t stop with the telegraph. Piggybacking on previous discoveries by Volt, Ampere, Farad, Hartley, Kirchoff, Maxwell, to name those I can easily recall, plus the many mathematicians who proceeded him, provided the basis for the electric lights, telephone, radio, radar, television, sound systems, computers, and scads of other devices that for granted each time we flip a switch or turn a dial.
Henry went on to become the initial secretary of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C..
With that said, it should be noted that Henry did not fade away into the sunset. Though we haven’t set aside a day for him has not been forgotten. If one looks closely at a map of the State of Utah (USA) one will find tucked in the southeast corner a short range known as the Henry Mountains.