[D8968AAN], Letter from Charles Batchelor to Thomas Alva Edison, August 27th, 1889


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[D8968AAN], Letter from Charles Batchelor to Thomas Alva Edison, August 27th, 1889

Editor's Notes

My Dear Edison,-- WASTE WAX####I have had Aylesworth make an experiment in regard to recovering the stearic acid from the old wax, and he finds that he can recover very easily about ninety-two per cent of the stearic acid and cerasine. His process is decomposition of the wax by an acid, and purifying and separating the parts by distillation in vacuum. He says that steam distillation would answer, but considering the danger, trouble and care, and also the expense of having to boil a considerable quantity of water off afterwards, distillation by vacuum is preferable. The vacuum is about 26 inches, and is got by an ordinary water pump. I am, therefore, making him a kettle about 36 inches diameter, with a copper top suitable both for getting the vacuum and also for running the distilacts over into suitable chambers cheaply. Immediately this is done, I think we shall be able to give them a price for the old wax.####ORE MILLING. The Mallory single magnet has been done now for a few days, and is already painted up to go away. The other one will be finished in a couple of days, when they will both be shipped together####We have just made an extended test of the single magnet. We found that it would be necessary to crush a little smaller before putting it on that machine, and have, therefore, substituted brass bars 3/4 of an inch high on the outside of the drum instead of wooden ones, which were on when you were here. I noticed that the ore was fast cutting into the brass cylinder, si that it would soon have worn it away. We have remedied this by shellacing strips of canvass on, which after our extended test of twelve hours run, with ore continually running on it, did not show the slightest sign of being cut up. The heat inside the cylinder reached 205, but I do not consider this as anything, as it cannot be exceeded, this being the hottest season of the year. It has been a very slow job with the other magnet, as I have had to reorganize the bottom ship, discharge a lot of the men, and get others who will attend to the business in better shape.####I send you cutting about Wilbur. This is a sorry ending for such brilliant talent. [Enclosed article]




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