Henry Perkins

1873 - 1959

Perkins, Henry

A Hartford native, Henry Perkins was a graduate of Hartford Public High School (1892), Yale (1896), and Columbia (1899).


After completing a Sloane Fellowship at Yale (1901-02), he began teaching physics at Trinity College. His classes, especially his sound wave lectures which he presented with musical illustrations, were famous.

Perkins served as acting president of Trinity twice (1915 & 1919). The college awarded him an honorary degree in 1920.

He served as President of the Board of the American School for the Deaf for 42 years. The school named their library after him. Gallaudet College in Washington D. C. awarded him an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Sportsman and Traveler

Perkins was a sportsman with particular interest in mountain climbing and skiing. He was a member of the American Alpine Club for 56 years. In 1898, at age 25, he ascended the Matterhorn.

Perkins was also an avid traveler, often using his sabbaticals to undertake extensive trips. His most ambitious trip was around the world in 1928 and 1929. He estimated he traveled 40,000 miles which included visiting his brother in China.

Section 2, Lot 12


Hartford Courant, “Henry A. Perkins Dies.” July 16, 1959

Photo Credit:

Henry Perkins, Public Domain