[D8704ADS], Letter from John Alfred Brashear to Thomas Alva Edison, October 19th, 1887


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[D8704ADS], Letter from John Alfred Brashear to Thomas Alva Edison, October 19th, 1887

Editor's Notes

Would have answered your letter sooner but was away to inspect the mounting of the great Lick telescope with Prof. Simon Newcomb, Burnham, Saegmuller of Fauth & Co., and others; On my return Newcomb, Capt. Floyd of the Lick Trustees, Langley, and Saegmuller all spent the day with me; Newcomb tested some of our surfaces and examined our work on the great Lick spectroscope and other precision instruments we are making; he was pleased with our work; the great telescope, which will weigh about 35 tons, was almost ready to send to Mt. Hamilton; will have Keeler take a full set of photos to send you when it is finished and set up.###The character of the work you mention in your letter is almost out of our line; astronomical and physical work, particularly pertaining to spectrum analysis, is about all I can do and still pay careful attention to details; science is becoming more specialized and the success of instrument making will depend on specialization too; Faust & Co. specializes in meridian instruments; Warner & Swasey in mounting large equatorials; Alvan Clark in making large object glasses; we make the spectroscope and its assessories, the telescope assesories, accurately plane surfaces, parallel surfaces, polarizing helioscopes, rock salt and quartz surfaces and kindred work. We have made almost all of Langley's instruments for research on lunar temperature except the spectro-bolometer, which was made before; Langley can tell you all about our work; the work you asked about can be done better by those having the facilities and experience in that line, but it is kind of you to offer it to us; the proposition you mention in your letter has occupied my mind; your success in this direction indicates that you could make a success of both the business and intellectual sides; will write you again about the matter; thanks for the interest in our work; should you come to our city, I'd be delighted to have you examine the work we do; anything I can contribute to the success of your laboratory, I would be honored to do.




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