[D8822ABD], Letter from E Stone Wiggins to Thomas Alva Edison, September 24th, 1888


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[D8822ABD], Letter from E Stone Wiggins to Thomas Alva Edison, September 24th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"You are no doubt aware that a severe drought prevailed during the present summer (1888) in the province of Ontario. About the middle of August I made a tour of [unclear] drought section and found what in those countries where wire fencing is the most extensive the drought was the most intense while those having little or no wire encing were comparatively well watered by thunder storms. ### After my return I made a report to the Canadian government substantially as follows, ### "Thunderstorms are slow to insolated electricity in a cloud which moving over the dry surface--which is a non-[unclear]--may before it is broken water fields for 50 or 100 miles. Telegraph, telephone wires and especially wire fencing [unclear] the electricty from the cloud and therefore destroy thunderstorms. [unclear] those sections which have a network of such wire over them are more liable to drought than those where no wire exists. This accounts for the almost entire absence of thunderstorms in the drought region of Ontario during the present summer. Telegraph and telephone companies have strict orders issued to their operators to isolate their wires when one electric storm is approaching. These wires however, even when isolated as well as wire fencing absorb electricity and store it; the same as a Leyden jar." ### As you are an [unclear] authority on electrical matters I beg as a scientist that you will be good enough to endorse or reject this theory and to give me any further information you may possess on the subject. ### Awaiting your reply I am dear sir with great respect" Yours very truly, E. Stone Wiggins [Marginalia: "Write & say that I see how wire fences can't change the meteorological condition as the Earth is a much better conductor of E ### Perhaps land has been too much cleared hency droughth, the very fact of the use of wire fencing shows absence of timber. E." "Ans Oct 6/88"]




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