[D9214AAC], Letter from John Donaldson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 29th, 1892


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[D9214AAC], Letter from John Donaldson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 29th, 1892




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


29th January 1892
Received Feb 9-1892
Ans’d March 1st 1892
Thos A. Edison Esq
New Jersey
I see in the 16th Jan issue of the “Scientific American” some notice of your recent discovery of the method of electric signaling without wires. This reminds of experiments made by Mr. J.B. Lindsay in this city more than 35 years ago, when he succeeded in transmitting connected wires. I frequently had the opportunity of witnessing these experiments, which were at first conducted on a small scale with a small battery in his house + afterwards with salt water, as he found the letter +apparatus he demonstrated his theory with perfect success across one of the tidal docks here,- but not having the means to carry out his discovery to my practical effect, the result of his patient labours were lost sight of when he died many years ago.
I do not mean to imply that you are not entitled to al credit for re-discovering Mr. Lindsey’s theory, but thought it should doubtless interest you to know what had actually been done on this subject so long ago, for I will remember the enthusiasm of the old man in regard to his discovery + he was so sanguine about it that he saw no difficulty in telegraphing to America without wires if he ha the means to produce a powerful enough current + often spoke of where the transmitting + receiving plates should be pleased to effect this successfully, indeed he believed the time would come when the whole oceans of the globe would be circled in like manner-
It may have been reserved for you to give practical proof of these hopes, now that you have got hold of the theory, for you have the means to carry out your ideas which my old friend did not process,- but my esteem of his memory must be my excuse for thus addressing you, while at the same time I cannot but wish you every success in your varied enterprises with electricity, that most mysterious yet powerful agent.
I am Sir,
Yours truly,
J. Donaldson
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