The finder of "objects under ground which may have some value" contracts with Lake to help him recover the objects and dispose of them to best advantage in return for a 50-50 split of the proceeds.

Sale Price $1,190.00

Reg. $1,400.00

Condition: slightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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The finder of "objects under ground which may have some value" contracts with Lake to help him recover the objects and dispose of them to best advantage in return for a 50-50 split of the proceeds.
Typed DS: "Simon Lake", 1p, 8½x11. New York City, 1935 November 30. Agreement between Lake and Wilbur Rothar regarding the finding and disposing of valuable items found underground. In full: "This agreement made this 30th day of November, 1935, between WILBUR ROTHAR of 316 East 155th Street, New York City, and SIMON LAKE of Milford, Conn., witnesseth: That whereas the said WILBUR ROTHAR has found some objects under ground which may have some value, and wishes to secure protection of his interest as the discoverer of such buried objects, the value of which is at present unknown, and wishes to secure the cooperation of the said SIMON LAKE in recovering such buried objects and disposing of the same to the best advantage. Now, therefore, the said WILBUR ROTHAR hereby appoints the said SIMON LAKE as his agent to secure the said objects in a legal manner, To dispose of the same at the best prices obtainable, for which services the said SIMON LAKE is to receive fifty (50) percent of the net profit derived therefrom and the said WILBUR ROTHAR is to receive fifty (50) percent as the original discoverer of this lost and presumably abandoned property. It is hereby understood that the said SIMON LAKE does not assume any obligation to go to any expense in securing legal rights to enter upon this contemplated venture unless he, the said SIMON LAKE, after being shown the location and inspecting the property considers it may prove in his estimation a venture in which he feels he can afford to risk his time and expense which may be necessary to protect the rights of the said parties to this agreement. The said WILBUR ROTHAR agrees to take the said SIMON LAKE to the locality where these objects are stored, and the said SIMON LAKE if then satisfied that there are objects there which may be profitably recovered agrees to immediately start an investigation as to the best method to secure the whole or any legal percentage of such value for the mutual and joint benefit of the said WILBUR ROTHAR and the said SIMON LAKE, the parties of this agreement." Also signed: "Wilbur Rothar" and by two unidentified signers. In addition to being known for his submarine, Lake held over 200 patents, which included submarine apparatus for recovering sunken vessels and their cargoes. By 1935, the year this document was signed, Lake was making improvements and modifictions to his Explorer Submarine, which was designed for commercial, not military, purposes. Lake, who was extremely interested in undersea research and exploration, was a proponent of harvesting the seas through sponge and shell fishing, mining and oil drilling and the hunting and salvaging of treasure. Since he had offices and was respected all over the world, Lake would have had little trouble helping Rothar dispose of his items if they were indeed found to be valuable. Inspired by Jules Verne's, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Simon Lake (1866-1945) designed a submarine and submitted plans to the U.S. Navy in 1892. In 1894 he built his first experimental submarine, The Argonaut, Jr., which was successfully demonstrated at Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The success led to the formation in 1895 of the Lake Submarine Company of New Jersey, which built the Argonaut, in 1898, the first submarine to operate successfully in the open sea. In 1901, the Argonaut was followed by the Protector, a surprisingly modern torpedo boat design that was adopted by the U.S. Navy during WWI. Lake, who supplied over 100 submarines for the war effort, also helped to design a practical periscope and invented submarine apparatus for recovering sunken vessels and their cargoes. Lightly creased with folds, not at signatures. Shaded at blank right margin (not near signatures). Slightly soiled at blank margins, paper clip rust stain at upper left margin at upper horizontal fold. Nicked at two places at right edge, ¼-inch tear at upper blank margin. Overall, fine condition.

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