[Bell, Alexander Graham, scientist, inventor, and innovator (1847-1922)]. - Brockett, Paul, librarian and bibliographer (1872-1946). Typed letter signed with 3 autogr. lines.

Washington, DC, 16 July 1920.

8vo. 1 p. on bifolium. Several addenda.


Fine collection of material about Alexander Graham Bell's experimental designs for hydrofoils and flying machines in his last years, i. e. the time of World War I and immediately thereafter. The Smithsonian Institution's librarian Brockett writes to Bell: "The fact that I have not written to you does not mean that I have not been going ahead with the search for the material relating to the boats in which you are interested. I am going through some of the older series of 'Revista Marittima' and publications of a similar class, keeping a careful list of what I am doing, as suggested by you. Just to be sure that I am correct as to the size of the copy, I am sending you a few photostat copies which I have had made. It seems to me that it would have been much better to have the black on white as we agreed upon before you left. Another thing, as to bringing these things together, would you like to have me send them on or was it your intention that I should retain them here [...]".

Includes the photostat copies mentioned in the letter, as well as:

2 typed copies from Bell's "Home Notes", his collection of memoranda which ultimately would span 135 volumes: "A Hydroplane Submarine Chaser" (5 Feb. 1917, 3 ff.; and 4-5 April 1917, 6 ff., 4to). The memoranda were published in the "Beinn Breagh Recorder" (vol. XXI, pp. 95ff. and 175ff.), Bell's house periodical, published in only 21 copies.

Carbon copy typescript "Secret and Confidential Report on the Graham Bell 'Hydroplane'" (21 ff., folio).

Carbon copy typescript "Report on Experiments with the HD-4 with Liberty Motors. Made 1919 Sept. 26 by Alexander Graham Bell" (4 ff. , large 4to).

Offprint from the "Smithsonian Report for 1919": William Washington Nutting, "The 'HD-4'. A 70-Miler With Remarkable Possibilities Developed at Dr. Graham Bell's Laboratories on the Bras d'Or Lakes". Washington, 1921. (2), 205-210 pp. With 9 plates. 8vo. Original wrappers.

Pencil graph (in Bell's hand?) on graph paper, displaying the increase of fuel consumption with increasing engine speed.

A. G. Bell not only invented the first telephone but was also a pioneer in the construction of hydrofoil boats. He undertook his first experiments in 1908 with his collaborator Fredrick "Casey" Baldwin (1882-1948), and in 1915 they created their most successful model, the HD-4, which reached 114 kilometers per hour - a record unchallenged for a decade.

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