JOHN ERICSSON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/03/1859 - HFSID 269557
Sale Price $850.00
The Swedish warship engineer signs this letter from 1859
Autograph letter signed: "J. Ericsson", 1½ pages, 8x10. New York, September 3, 1859. To unnamed recipient. In part: "Mr. Driggs has just left...Mr. Driggs laid great stress on the fact that he made the agreement with me - I have therefore to say that I simply gave him the figures you furnished me with namely: Use of Caloric engine $250.- Vault - 250,...Hoisting Machine - 250. I have most emphatically to state that on the occasion of giving the above figures to Mr. Driggs I had not the remotest idea of being made a party in the many transactions...It now for the first time occurs to me that your price for the hoisting machine must have been given before you had received Mr Banks' bills as the amount seems utterly out of proportion to the work done; but I suppose Messr Driggs have no intention of taking advantage of you as they are too honorable to make you pay for a machine which is of such great benefit to them and which they pronounce to be the most perfect ever employed. Nor will they forget I trust that I have given them my invention & time for nothing." Swedish-born engineer JOHN ERICSSON (1803-1889) was called in to design an iron-clad warship for the Union after Northern leaders heard that the South was attempting to raise the Merrimac from the Norfolk harbor and convert the ship into an armor-clad vessel.Ericsson had designed the U.S.S. Princeton, the first warship driven by a screw propeller. It carried a 12-inch gun -- the largest forged for the U.S. Navy at the time. Ericsson did not design that gun, but on February 28, 1844 President Tyler and a party of 200 were cruising aboard the ship. The gun, fired in a demonstration, exploded, killing amongst others Secretary of State Upshur and Secretary of the Navy Gilmer. Ericsson had worked on designs for iron-clad vessels as early as 1854 and built the Monitor with several distinct features. The Monitor, which was built of iron rather than wood, featured a circular revolving turret, relied solely on steam power and utilized a screw propeller for power rather than a paddle-wheel. The battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac took place on March 9, 1862 at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Monitor's victory ushered in a new era in naval warship design and construction. Lightly toned, foxed and soiled. Adhesive residue at left edge touches end of signature. Overall, fine condition.
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