ELISHA GRAY - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 02/24/1894 - HFSID 250712
Sale Price $2,040.00
At formative time in motion picture development, he writes of a machine projecting writing on a screen using lanterns.
Manuscript LS: "Elisha Gray", 2p, 8½x11. Highland Park, Ills., 1894 February 24. On stationery as President of the Advisory Council of the Chicago World's Congress of Electricians, The World's Congress Auxiliary of the World's Columbian Exposition to Professor M.M. Marble, New Haven, Conn. In full: "I have your communication of Feby. 19th regarding the commencement of your High School. I think the scheme a very good one and could be carried out in most of its details if some one would give it the necessary time. While the Company are not in a position to sell instruments, I see no reason why they should not lend them for the occasion, under a suitable management. The space under the tablet of the Receiver is about five inches wide. I had thought of this same suggestion you make in regard to projecting the writing upon the screen, as formed, for lecture purposes. The difficulty has been to find the time to fit up a lantern with the necessary slides etc, if I had some one here, skilled in the use of lanterns - to superintend the work, it could be done in my laboratory in Highland Park. There are several parts to the machine that could be shown in operation on the screen, one of the most interesting, scientifically and mechanically, is the method of transmitting the impulses. As I have hinted before, the real difficulty will be getting ready - I could do it if I had the time, but I have not-I could direct some one, however, having special charge of the matter. There would be some expense attending it, for I am sure the Company will not allow the instruments sent there except in charge of a competent expert. In view of the foregoing if you have any suggestions to make, you are at liberty to do so." The use of shadow and light as sources of learning and entertainment dates back to B.C. By the time of this letter, the knowledge and use of a projector had been well established and inventors were advancing upon the subject with the development of the motion picture projector. In fact, in the year of this letter Thomas Edison opened a kinetoscope parlor in New York City the year this letter was written. Elisha Gray invented a number of telegraphic devices and in 1869 was one of two partners who founded what became Western Electric Company. While experimenting in 1875 with the idea of sending musical notes by wire as a means of sending several messages simultaneously over the same wire, Gray hit upon the idea of transmitting the human voice and on February 14, 1876, filed with the patent office a caveat for such an invention. Alexander Graham Bell's final patent had been registered just a few hours before. From Lucent Technologies: "In his Western Electric years, Gray carried the simple title of electrician, but practically all of the company's early successes (the telegraph printer, the answer-back call-box of the A.D.T. System, the needle annunciator, to name a few) were the outcome of Professor Gray's invention and design." Folds, vertical fold touches between the "sh". Fine condition.
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