[D8828ABY1], Letter from James Ricalton to Thomas Alva Edison, June 27th, 1888


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[D8828ABY1], Letter from James Ricalton to Thomas Alva Edison, June 27th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Yesterday I received the following Cable from Orange 'Giant Bamboo difficult to get out fibers too small-don't ship' also 'Sample is rotten or dry out, not seasoned will before packing.' ### I am as much astonished at the first part of the dispatch. Viz 'Giant Bamboo difficult to cut out fibers too small' that I ask you personally to read this my ultimatum on the 'Giant'. ### I am not so much surprised at the last part with [unclear] to the rotteness of the sample, for unless the wood be flacid soon after cutting into a high artificial heat + fermentation will commence. I kept the newly cut samples sent for two weeks part of the time in the [unclear] sign and part of the time before a fire of sticks, [unclear] as is fused to work with here their being no stoves or ovens at hand. But with reference to the fiber being too small and difficult to get out, do not call me impertinent, stupid or pig-headed where [unclear] to [unclear] that the Giant Bamboo has [unclear] of the laboratory especially in reference to size of fiber. Today since receiving the adverse cable like made the more careful examination of size of fibers in the [unclear] the Giant land the [unclear] sample which if I were asked [unclear] line and which to take long and which you said was perfectly satisfactory. The Giant used in comparison was a difficult of samples sent to the Laboratory. If the average giant lumber fiber is not twice as large as that of the [unclear] and [unclear] as large as [unclear] these I have no microscope- no [unclear] not capacity to measure the length of a bamboo joint with an ordinary rule. Before sending the first exullant cable 'Eureka'. I have found it I tried to be excecuting of cautious in my examination of the giant- [unclear] from the Cotton joint to the [unclear] old and young [unlcear] green [unclear] and dead trunck there wood and chickwood, size of fibers, size of pith in fibers, segregation of fibers, [unclear] might hardness tenacity, and lastily its resistance [unclear] when confirmed. I think I have carbonized the giant up to about 30 times and the relation of the regulars to the 'giant' in heat if [unclear] has been infored as about 20 to 50, and I have supposed the carbonizing test the most important. ### It does not of [unclear] as truly as the regular in the high [unclear] giant a little of [unclear] in the low joints where the wood is thicker it of lits more life the 'extra sample' if the fiber is to be harder-denser to fiver letter carbon it must lose some of its toughness; too qualified rarely go together, neither is wood or metals. The most not demand a [unclear] of nature or [unclear] of the dismissed. The 'giant' fiber gives incomfortably the best resistance of the [unclear] of anything I have ever used. I like to see the yellow collor in a bamboo fiber; notice the soft yellow of the 'regular' and the [unclear] yellow of the 'giant.' ### While not quite as easily got out as the 'regular' in for up joint. I think they are [unclear] no means difficult to get out for instance since reading the cable I [unclear] up a section in my room and pulled off with my [unclear] from the smallest [unclear]. A second 14 inches long of pulled off in the same way and finished it with five pulls through the dies without reeling-not difficult to get out-certainly. The regular and the extra sample fibers are 9 inches long, these of the 'giant' from 15 to 25. ### The pith in some samples of the giant-seems a little large. But the fiber is always large enough to allow for a full of lawn fiber on one side of the pith. ### Now these are my final opinion on the 'Giant' Mr. Edison, and you will see that there can be nothing selfish about these; for the longer you keep me hunting the better I like it and I shall do my best to find something better than the 'giant' but scarcely think it possible. A wealthy native gentlemen here thinks a bamboo like the 'extra sample' can be found in Madagascar, but I do not know that you would care to hear me fthere on the strength of that man's of mine, so I intend to go on first boat to Madras and say farewell to my long cherished 'Giant.' The [unclear] West [unclear] are on and we are having [unclear] of rain. [unclear] I am your obedient servant, James Ricalton "P.S. A great many of the Indians [unclear] of bamboo I have found in Ceylon. Please examine the 'giant' carefully yourself."




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