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Autograph letter signed to Latimer Clark
1863. Very Good. Grimston, Robert (1816-84). A.L.s. to Latimer Clark. London, December 9, 1863. 1 page, plus integral blank. 202 x 128 mm. Remains of mounting present. Provenance: Latimer Clark.Robert Grimston, a famous cricket player, joined the board of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1852, and became chairman of the International Telegraph Company in 1859. (The two companies subsequently merged, becoming the Electric and International Telegraph Company.) In 1867 Grimston joined the board of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and in 1868 he was appointed chairman of the Indo-European Telegraph Company. These companies were all taken over by the British government under the parliamentary acts of 1868 to 1870 transferring control of British telegraph lines to the Post Office. Latimer Clark joined the Electric Telegraph Company in 1850 as an engineer, remaining with the company until its annexation by the British government. During his years with the Electric Telegraph Company, Clark performed a series of experiments on the flow of electricity through wires. One of his most significant discoveries, made in 1853, was that the rate of current flow through a conducting wire is independent of the force used to generate the current. This fact was ignored by the designer of the first Atlantic cable, E. O. Wildman Whitehouse, whose insistence on using high voltages for transmitting messages contributed materially to the cable's failure in 1858. Upon the completion of the second Atlantic cable in 1866, Clark successfully demonstrated that it was possible to transmit messages over the cable using "a single galvanic cell composed of a few drops of acid in a silver thimble and a fragment of zinc weighing a grain or two" (quoted in Weaver 1909, 21).Grimston's letter to Clark, written on the stationery of the Electric and International Telegraph Company, informs him that "the Board of Directors having appointed Mr. Henry Weaver to be Secretary of this Company from the 1st January 1864 you will be pleased to address all communications to him from that date." Origins of Cyberspace 152.
      [Bookseller: Jeremy Norman's Historyofscience.com]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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