link to Talbot Project home page link to De Montfort University home page link to Glasgow University home page
Project Director: Professor Larry J Schaaf

Back to the letter search >

Document number: 04320
Date: 11 Aug 1841
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: WHEATSTONE Charles
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA41-050
Last updated: 1st September 2003

20 Conduit St.

August 11th 1841

My dear Sir

I have no results to communicate to you but all is progressing except the work I gave to Henley <1> who it appears is too busy to attend to it.

I have no confidence in any thing stated by Mr De Moleyn who is no other person than the Mr Mullins <2> who was blackballed a year or two since at the Royal Society, who did himself no credit in the affair of Daniell’s battery, <3> and who has so many times announced great things which have never been accomplished. He did not bring forward a new galvanic battery at the Plymouth meeting, <4> he merely stated that he had made it.

With respect to the agreement, have it put into a form which will meet your wishes by any person in whom you have confidence, and I will then submit it to Mr Richardson.

I have formed a very complete system for telegraphing the indications of the Barometer, Thermometer and Hygrometer from the Captive Balloons to the ground; my proposal has been approved by the British Association and I received last week from Coln Sabine <5> a notice that the preparation of the meteorological instruments was left with me as a member of the committee and requesting me to put them in hand immediately. The greatest difficulty I have had to overcome was to render the indications of the instruments independant <sic> of the fluctuations of the battery, I have however succeeded in accomplishing this object perfectly.

Yours very truly

C. Wheatstone


1. William Thomas Henley (1814–1882), instrument maker.

2. Frederick William Mullins (d. 1854), a member of the House of Commons 1831–1836, was proposed for membership in the Royal Society and blackballed in 1837.

3. The constant battery (known as Daniell’s battery) was invented by John Frederick Daniell, FRS (1790–1845) for which he was awarded the Copley medal by the Royal Society in 1836.

4. The eleventh meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science took place in Plymouth in July 1841.

5. Sir Edward Sabine (1788–1883), was general secretary to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1839–1859, excepting 1852.