Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 342

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(1791 - 1867) English chemist and physicist who discovered the properties of electromagnetic induction, and rotation and devised several methods of generating electricity. Fine content A.L.S. 2pp. 4to., "Royal Institution", Dec. 28, 1846, to French chemist Pierre Hippolyte Boutigny (1798-1884), in part: "...Thank you for all your kind communications at Cambridge, and if I do not forget here also. I always think of you and your experiments with great interest. Last June at the close of our Friday evening meetings I gave our members an experimental illustration of your beautiful subject and I shewed them some of the results which you shewed me. I added one which I do not see in your book though it comes near that one made by M. Dumas [French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas, 1800-1884] & described on p. 102; by virtue of your spheroidal state I was enabled to free mercury in the red hot crucible with the utmost facility. But the crucible was made (spheroidal) red hot then some ether introduced, then solid carbonic acid, and lastly a metallic capsule holding about an ounce of mercury was dipped into the spheroidal mixture until the mercury was frozen which happened in two or three seconds. It seemed very strange to dip the frozen mercury into the red hot crucible and bring it out frozen. I am not in good condition being under the Surgeon's hands for an affection of the knee; this limits every occupation, even writing...". With integral holograph address leaf, very good condition.

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