[D0231AAQ], Letter from Eugene Howard Lewis to Frederic Henry Betts, May 29th, 1902


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[D0231AAQ], Letter from Eugene Howard Lewis to Frederic Henry Betts, May 29th, 1902




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University


May 29, 1902.
Frederick H. Betts, Esq.,
120 Broadway,
New York City, N. Y.
Dear Sir:-
Re Edison Patent.
Referring to the query contained in your letter of the 23rd inst., I beg to say that I submitted it to Mr. Edison and received from him in reply a letter, which I exhibited to you at the meeting yesterday and of which I now hand you a copy.
I infer from Mr. Edison's letter that, in his opinion, this "principle of induction" (quoted from your letter) is inclusive of the waves detected by Hertz and named after him. I think I have already written you that, in the opinion of Professors Croker and Pupin, the achievements of Marconi have been accomplished otherwise than through the medium of what are called Hertzian waves.
In your letter of the 23rd inst., the question put by you includes the subject of "elevated plates acting as 'condensers'".
Mr. Edison does not seem to have replied specifically to the question whether his system and apparatus does or does not operate by reason of such plates.
I find that in his patent he describes a condensing surface of metal or other conductor of electricity connected with earth by an electrical conducting wire, and I find in the Marconi re-issue, No. 11,913, a description of a plate or elevated conductor and condenser.
I take it that there is no essential difference between the systems in that regard.
I do not know whether Marconi's original application made claim to vertical wires or not, nor whether his claim was met in the Patent Office by the Edison patent, but I think I have already told you that Professor Pupin said in my office that, in his opinion, Edison was prior to Marconi in that essential feature, an opinion also apparently held by Professor Silvanus Thompson, judging from his recent article in the Saturday Review.
I presume that, on reaching a conclusion in reference to this patent, you will communicate your views to the Executive Committee. I would be glad to be informed, if you find it convenient, when you have communicated your views to the Committee.
Yours truly,
Eugene H. Lewis.
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