[D8822AAM], Letter from Charles Morris to Thomas Alva Edison, April 9th, 1888


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[D8822AAM], Letter from Charles Morris to Thomas Alva Edison, April 9th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"The [unclear] cable companies [unclear] sought for a long time to obtain a system of cipher that would increase the transmitting capacity of their wires. I labored for a long time to discover an available method but eventually dispaired. ### I did succeed however in opening a line of inquiry in another division to the same end and with results quite gratifying. I have unlimited confidence in your ability & integrity and as the success of my plans require such experimental facilites as you have at your command I place the matter unreservedly in your hands with full authority to take out letter patent make contracts etc reserving for myself on by what is an equitable share. I should first construct a telegraphic type of glass and copper corresponding to the alphabetical symbos thus [ilustration follows] Now if the copper type is in connection with the ground wire, a pencil attached to the sending wire when passing over the type will complete the circuit as it crosses the copper and break the circuit while passing over the glass. I next construct a large wheel 3 feet in diameter with a perimeter 18 inches wide. Upon the face of the perimeter I construct a spiral groove sealing the surface of the wheel like a screw thread from one side to the other. This groove is fro receiving the type, allowing 4 coils to the inch, we have 72 coils of the groove on the wheel a length of 648 feet, allow 1 inch length to a type letter we have 7776 letters or over 1000 words on the wheel. One revolution to the second it requires 72 seconds to transmit 1000 words. For receiving this telegram at the other end I construct another wheel of the same size as the first but with a smooth face upon which is placed the chemical paper used for electric purposes but one broad sheet. Upon this paper rests another pencil attached to the receiving wire. ## When the circuit is complete this pencil rests upon the paper and draws a line or dash when the circuit breaks, it leaves the paper and creates a space, a very short dash is dot. If this wheel is made to revolve at the same rate of speed as the sending what the dashes dots and spaces will be in every respect an exact copy of the type on the sending wheel. There exists in my mind no doubt as to the perfect working of the sending or transmitting wheel and pencils have been made to make more rapid and delicate tracing, than this receiving pencil is required to do the axles of both wheels are threaded so as to [unclear] the type beneath the pencil etc. It will at first require considerable time to set the type but cable companies are willing to sacrifice that time and expense pending the wires are but a short time in actual use. I have not dwelt upon the miner mechanical contrivances necessary to complete the working of the system as they are matters that can only be adjusted by experiment and not insurmountable even to an ordinary mechanic. ### Trusting that this will meet your favorable consideration and an early reply I remain" Yours etc, Charles Morris "other conductive and nonconductive material can be used in manufacture of letters and long and short glass [unclear] between words and letters." TAE marginalia: "Advise him to read up on cable teleghy and he will see the futility of his suggestions"





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