[D8828ABD], Letter from Samuel M Whelpley to Thomas Alva Edison, April 6th, 1888


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[D8828ABD], Letter from Samuel M Whelpley to Thomas Alva Edison, April 6th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I had the pleasure of seeing Messrs. Hamilton & Payne, some months ago:--when they were here, on a search for fibre. ### I procured them some "marine fibre." which did not stand the required tests I believe. At the time of their visit I did not learn exactly what was desired:--and was entirely occupied in the construction of a light house on the coast. I believe that the artice you require, can be obtained here. In looking over some old notes of forest travel, there has been recalled to memory a peculiar growth, somewhat resembling the "Marine fibre" in appearance:--but of great tensile strength. A French engineer, my companion at the time used to call it, "vegetable wire." ### Although flexible it is sufficiently hard 'en masse' to resist the blow of the 'matchet' and turn its edge. A sample, or a complete description of the required article might determine the question. ### I have had some eight years experience in the wildest and least accessible parts of the Colombian forests:--and among the tribes of Indians between the head waters of the 'Cauca' and the watershed drained by the 'Japura.' If it is anything in the nature of vegetable fibre:--I have no doubt of its existence here, as the variety is infinite. But it must be sought for off the usual routes of travel. ### The fibre of which I have a fair recollection: is smooth, dark as whalebone and as flexible; one or two threads of it would be strong enough to suspend camp lluggage weighing thirty or forty pounds. ### And if you have not already been smiled in your choice, I should be pleased to hear from you. ### And have the honor to remain Sir" Your most obedient servant, P.M. Whelpley TAE marg: "Thank him and say that since Messrs P & H were there I have found just what is wanted--however if he ever comes across anything good to kindly mail a sample etc. etc." "Ans 1/5/88."]




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