[LM111134], Letter from Arthur Edwin Kennelly to William Henry Snell, September 24th, 1888

Item

Abstract

[image 68" I forwarded you a paper on [Statistic?] Measurements early in the month in answer to your letter of the 13th ult and two days ago another --- s--------- Alternating Current measurements, a copy of which has been accepted by the American Journal of [Science?] as I learn today.####I see in your issue of the 14th inst just received, you let me rather find unawares, in the Brown [versus? Version?] Van der Weyde. The latter gentleman is a well developed specimen of what is popularly known in this country as a ['tenant'?]. I have never been able to arrive at the exact definition of the word but its general signification is con compos mentis. I enclose for your edification and amusement my reply to the Dr.####All the experiments made and published on the dogs except at Columbia College have been carrie dout by your humble servant, and I have no reason for bias in stating the facts. Mr edison is not biased. Of course the Edison Company########[page 69]####are likely to be so.####I do not comprehend your oft repeated dislike of criminal execution by electricity. It can certainly I am almost sure from the experiments on these dogs be made painless and without indication except to the microscope. I can kill any dog with half a seconds contact by an alternating current of 1000 volts tension and I have little doubt that some 3000 volts (direct current) would do the like. The dog never howls murmurs or struggles but falls motionless and it takes the microscope to reveal the cause of death. That brings to light the fact that the insulating sheaths of the nerves implicated are disintegrated just as in the case of prolonged nerve disease or certain orders of paralysis. So far as can be seen the "axis-cylinder" does not suffer.####Now whether society has the right to take life is another question. Assuming that it has then presumably its object is to that life without torture. Now science has to perform that operation somehow--it should be done scientifically nest pas? Now gravitation is the particular method adopted. Well if electricity can do it more neatly, as I think can hardly be questioned then why on earth not adopt electricity in its place. Does any stigma rest on the law of Newton because under certain circumstances it causes fracture of the spinal column? If not how can stigma rest on electricity if under certain circumstances it kills intentionally.####Let me congratulate you on the very excellent papers in your number of the ult & ----- me your ----- A. E Kennelly####[page70]####26 Sept 8####- - Lewis Esq####Dear Sir####Herewith we enclose the extracts from our Experiment Records Relating to the effect of Carbon, Rhy-hm & Caustic ab--tin, upon animal and vegetable life. No attempt has been made to alter or mislead in this statement. You will observe that g----- was not always -atel-6 animal though it seems to be so to vegetable [organisms?]. This may be due as ------- Edison points out to in----pete contact between the gasolene and a moist surface.####If there is any experiment you wouldcare to suggest, we shall be very pleased to --- it if it has in our power, and Mr Edison gives his -------####Yours truly####A.E. Kennelly####[

Date

1888-09-24

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

LM111134

Folder Set

LM111

Title

[LM111134], Letter from Arthur Edwin Kennelly to William Henry Snell, September 24th, 1888

Microfilm ID

109:174

Publisher

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