[D8822AAL], Letter from Henry L Osmond to Thomas Alva Edison, April 8th, 1888


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[D8822AAL], Letter from Henry L Osmond to Thomas Alva Edison, April 8th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Whilst reading an article on electricity yesterday, I was struck with an experiment showing, by means of filings on a glass plate, the lines of force exerted by the Electromagnets of a motor in motion. Of course you would be familiar with the experiment and many similar ones no doubt. However it suggested this idea to me--that the experiment only shows the lines of force in one plain. Why should it not be extended so as to show the whole field at a glance? The way this could be managed I think would be to fill the air of a dark with "Reduced Iron" or fine filings, by exploding cartridges containing either, or by sifting them from above, at the same time and iron in a fine state of subdivision obtained by chemical means have a very sensitive plate exposed in a camera and at the instant the filings are being attracted to the motor in motion, flash an electric spark, when the lines of force would be regulated on the plate to be developed at leisure. ### This is "Theory"--if you could reduce it to practice--magnets--Electro-magnets, and electrified coils of wire of various shapes might be experimented on, and the resulting negatives projected on a screen by the Magic Lantern and be very sueful in studying this wonderful phenomenon. My reasons for sending you this are (1) That your experience and facility for experiment would ensure success, if at all practical. (2) As an American, I wish America to lead the way with everything new (3) Being only a chemist without means or friends to [unclear] I could not think of conducting any experiments. It has been my earnest desire to devote my time to Electric Science, but as yet have found no opening to do so; if I could but have an opportunity I feel sure I would succeed. Perhaps there is more chance in America than here? Your world-wide fame will ensure the delivery of this, I believe, altho I know not your residence." Wishing you every success, Believe me dear sir, Yours Respectfully, Henry Lincoln Osmund [Marginalia: "Refd to Mr. Kennelly; This seems practicable with quick Bromide [lleg] E."] [UNSOLICITED ADVICE; PRACTICAL SUGGESTION]




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