[D8805AGQ], Letter from William M Allison Jr. to Arthur Edwin Kennelly, September 22nd, 1888


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[D8805AGQ], Letter from William M Allison Jr. to Arthur Edwin Kennelly, September 22nd, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Dear Sir: I am not quite sure that you are the gentleman whom I should address, but perhaps you can put me in the way of obtaining the information I desire. ### One day last winter I called on Mr. Edison at his laboratory. While there he introduced me to a mathematicians, I think yourself. We were discussing the application of the Morse telegraphic code to sea-signalling. Mr. Edison described some of his experiments in steam whistling under water, using the water as a conductor of sound waves, and employing a diaphragm on each vessel, with a tubular attachment running up on deck, for convenience. He promised me information as to further results, when later experiments had been made off the coast of Florida. ### Can you describe the principle of this steam whistle, in detail, and give me the results obtained? I want to be able to describe how the sound is produced below the water-line, and how far it can be distinguished, as compared with sound waves sent through the atmosphere. ### Some computations were also made as to the distance at which flashes of light can be seen when projected on clouds at various heights. Likewise, when projected on embossed canvas, stretched between the tops of masts, and inclined at an angle toward the water. Any other information bearing on any phase of this subject will be very welcome. ### I am preparing a magazine article on the subject of sea signalling, in anticipation of theproposed International Conference to be [unclear] by the President. ### Mr. Edison has known me personally for 16 years, and will no doubt sanction your sending me the information. I am employed as a reporter on the New York Times. ### I have no means of securing your full name, so pardon me if I address you incorrectly. ### Pleae make your reply as full and explicit as possible." Very Respectfully Yours, Wm. M. Alllison jr.[TAE marginalia: "Write to say these experiments were being made in Florida when I was ill & very little was done-so little that it would be useless to describe them. The plan was to put a Long tube 1 foot diameter 10 feet under water one end closed by an iron diaphragm a shrill steam whistle put down the tube, another tube about 10 feet long closed with a diaphragm + fine stretched wire run from such diaphragm to a small diaphragm connnected to a stethoscope to detect the vibrations through the water at a distance. The experiments will be continued."]




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