[LB004204], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Lemuel Wright Serrell, March 7th, 1879


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[LB004204], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Lemuel Wright Serrell, March 7th, 1879

Editor's Notes

Your postal of the 6th regarding Case 164 just recd. In April 1877 I made several hundred cylinders of finely metals, carbons & other conducting material mixed with various infusible oxides in various proportions and the cylinders were of various sizes. In Dec 1877 I subjected silicon, Zircon, Boron and other metals to a powerful current to produce light by incandescence; also powders of these substances and also of metals mixed with firre clay & dextrine to powerful currents. The experiments were at times very satisfactory but they were generally unreliable. It was almost impossible at that time to make perfect contact. In Sept 1878 (10th) I commenced experimenting again, as I had by experiments with the telephone where finely divided conductors were used, ascertained that contact could be secured by exposing a large surface to the substance and moulding it in the holders or connecting clamps by great pressure conducted many experiments since that date to obtain a perfect candle, the result being that only a mixture of Iridium with lime Zircon or magnesi is perfectly practicable.




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