And Tyndall was a great scientist, and a very interesting and admirable person in many ways.
But I just ran across an interesting note by Raymond Sorenson (link), who discovered an account of a very similar experiment from a few years earlier (1856).
The 1856 experiment languished in obscurity while Tyndall's work became famous, probably for three reasons:
(1) Tyndall was assiduous in publishing and re-publishing his work, giving public lectures, and generally promoting his own research. In contrast, the scientist who conducted the 1856 experiment had someone else give a talk at a national conference of scientists, but never published a full monograph or book, so the only account is a brief description in a third-party summary of the talks given at that conference.
(2) Tyndall was from Britain, one of the leading scientific powerhouses of the day, while the 1856 experiment was by an American, and was presented only at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Albany, NY. In 1856 science was a decidedly Euro-centric activity.
(3) Tyndall was male, while the scientist who conducted the 1856 experiment -- Eunice Newton Foote -- was a woman. Unable to present her own work to the AAAS, Ms Foote had Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution give her talk at the meeting.
Here is the only known account of the presentation of Ms Foote's work on measuring the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2, from the 1856 AAAS meeting:
Prof. Henry then read a paper by Mrs. Eunice Foote, prefacing it with a few words, to the effect that science was of no country and of no sex. The sphere of woman embraces not only the beautiful and the useful, but the true. Mrs. Foote had determined, first, that the action of the rays increases with the density of the air. She has taken two glass cylinders of the same size, containing thermometers. Into one the air was condensed, and from the other air was exhausted. When they were of the same temperature the cylinders were placed side by side in the sun, and the thermometers in the condensed air rose more than twenty degrees higher than those in the rarified air. This effect of rarefaction must contribute to produce the feebleness of heating power in the sun's rays on the summits of lofty mountains. Secondly, the effect of the sun's rays is greater in moist than in dry air. In one cylinder the air was saturated with moisture, in the other dried with chloride of lime; both were placed in the sun, and a difference of about twelve degrees was observed. This high temperature of sunshine in moist air is frequently noticed; for instance, in the intervals between summer showers. The isothermal lines on the earth's surface are doubtless affected by the moisture of the air giving power to the sun, as well as by the temperature of the ocean yielding the moisture. Thirdly, a high effect of the sun's rays is produced in carbonic acid gas. One receiver being filled with carbonic acid, the other with common air, the temperature of the gas in the sun was raised twenty degrees above that of the air. The receiver containing the gas became very sensibly hotter than the other, and was much longer in cooling. An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a much higher temperature; and if there once was, as some suppose, a larger proportion of that gas in the air, an increased temperature must have accompanied it, both from the nature of the gas and the increased density of the atmosphere. Mrs. Foote had also tried the heating effect of the sun's rays on hydrogen and oxygen, and found the former to be less, the latter more, susceptible to the heating action of sunlight.
That's remarkable, both that she did this experiment three years before Tyndall, and that she explicitly drew the link to the role of carbon dioxide in climate change.
Eunice Foote and her husband Elisha Foote (a judge, inventor, and mathematician who also presented a paper at the 1856 AAAS meeting) lived in upstate New York. Both of them were signatories of the famous "Declaration of Sentiments" at the great Seneca Falls Convention on women's rights.
One thing that Sorenson doesn't seem to have noticed is that Eunice Foote did have another paper presented in the following year's meeting of AAAS (1857), this one on electrical activity in the atmosphere. Unlike the 1856 paper, this one was actually published in the Proceedings of the AAAS.