[D8828ABU1], Letter from James Ricalton to Alfred Ord Tate, June 5th, 1888


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D8828ABU1], Letter from James Ricalton to Alfred Ord Tate, June 5th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"On May 11th I mailed to you a package and smaples of Giant Bamboo as owing to the qualities of the different joints ref to take the 50th joint etc. I maile it as a sample and consequently paid postage as for sample rates. ### Notice came to the Kandy Office yesterday from Colombo that said package had been detained on account of [unclear]-- detained from May 11th till June 7 and not a word about it. That is the way busness is done in this country. I notified the Postmaster General at Columbo of the outrageous negligence and I hope somebody will be made to pay the penalty of such [unclear] carelessness. They are all stupid, black natives at the Kandy Office, and seemingly did not know that only 8 oz. can be sent at sample rates--that was ignorance at the Kandy office, but it was negligence at the Columbo Office. ### I have separated the package into four packets, each under 8 oz and mail same today. ### I sent the first sample on Apr 24 by mail the second by parcel express on May 4th (a large joint containing several samples but none of which are comparable with the "Giant Bamboo" ### I have found and tested 33 species of bambo in Ceylon, none of which compare with the "Giant" when properly dried. ### All bamboo must be dried artifically in this climate--the fermenatation of its own [unclear] will blacken the wood and completely injure the fibres. The samples of the Giant Bmboo which I enclosed in large joint are self-dried and dark and therefore do not constitute for criteria, but I send the to share all conditions. I have also tested nearly all varieties of the Palms and also other woods. I have traveled over 200 miles by bullock [unclear] to different parts of the interior and I [unclear] there is little in Ceylon that has [unclear] my search. I tested one rice of the "Giant" that stood 250 heats. When I get the "Regular" to stand 20 heats the Giant will stand 50 uniformly. Its rattle under the die shows its excusing hardness before it reachines the carbonizing test. ### Last week I was tod by an intelligent old native that the "Giant Bamboo" had been introduced at Ratnafura during the Dutch Occupation and that he could guarantee me 10000 trees. Ratnafura is 60 miles southeast of Columbo. I went to Columbo by train and then took stange 58 miles to Ratnafura found quite a number of clumps but have some doubt whether the neative could furnish 10000 trees. ### I have [unclear] a drying machine. I bat a second-hand shut iron oil stove (small) for #1, and dry my samples in its oven--a green drain fiber not being a fair test with a dried "regular". I am awaiting anxiously a [unclear] upon my "and". I have no doubt of it great [unclear]. The moment I first saw it my pulse jumped to a hundred. ### The growth of the "Giant" is marvelous. I have seen it at 18 months old 6 inch in diameter and between 30 and 40 feet high. ### I will hope to hear from my first samples long before this reaches you. There is no vegetable wax in Ceylon of any importance." With kind regards to Mr. E., I am very truly, James Ricalton. "P.S. The Southwest Monsoon has "broken" here and consequently we are having torrential rains with the wet season begins a est of the jungle with a land-leach which crawls over the grass an leaves in the junble and also drops from the trees on people. A few days ago I was obliged to disrobe in the jungle to dislodge leaches from my skin and from between my drawers and pantaloons; with the aid of my coolie I removed twenty, they could not reach my skin at the ankles owing to my socks being tightly fastened over my drawers so they proceeded upwards and [unclear] entrance at the more vulnerable regions farther up. They fill themselves with blood after the fashion of the ordinary leach, and hang like pendant rubies to the body, sometimes bursting and making a deadful mess of ones clothes; they are best removed by an application of lime juice and they sometimes [unclear]" J.R.





Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON