Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Carlile P. Patterson
(Berlin, 17.03.1876)

Spanish translation & annotations


Berlin, 1876 March 17


C. P. Patterson Esq

Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey, etc.

Washington D. C.

Dear Sir,

I got away from Paris on the 5th being somewhat earlier than I had expected, and consequently I found Professor Förster was not quite ready for me. I found that in anticipation of my coming, genl. Baeyer had invited Oppolzer on from Vienna to swing his pendulum immediately after me at the same place and then the Prussian pendulum will be swung there by Dr. Albrecht. This order of performances gives me the compliment of leading off and of course the others will profit by any suggestions they may derive from my modes of procedure while I shall not have the reciprocal advantage. I should like if I could to see them swing. The chamber in which the swinging is to be made is the most perfect place conceivable for the purpose. Mr. Hilgard doubtless has received lithographic plans of the building  as a member of the international metric commission. Förster has detected no diurnal change of temperature in the chamber and the annual change is very small. The observations here will therefore be exceedingly important every way, and must not be hurried. Then, I am to set up an apparatus with which


to measure the flexure of the stands. It appears that I was wrong in supposing that Dr. Peters had measured the flexure of Bessel's stand. Some inaccurate Frenchman told me so, M. Faye most likely. So that I am the first to do this. I have now the idea of getting an Atwood's machine pulley to convert my vertical force of weight into a horizontal force. But also I think I had better set up the stand with its feet attached to a vertical wall & apply a force without a pulley: otherwise somebody else will do it directly and say it is the only proper way. So I had better allow till early in May here. Then I must go to Paris and ought to go to Geneva to inspect my instrument there and then I must make my experiments in Kew and then must have a little time to pack up. So that I don't think I ought to start for home before the middle of July probably. I shall use dispatch and I may get through by the 1st, hardly earlier. On the other hand delays may intervene and add another month. I think therefore it would be well if I had two months more added to my time. Please write me on this subject.

Genl. Baeyer expressed himself much pleased at my having introduced  the plan of measuring the flexure of the foot.

I ought to have said that some steps should be taken to compare Oppolzer’s & my standards of length, and if this


is done directly which I should prefer, then some time must be allowed for that. I find also that the standard metre which I bought here has never been compared yet, although Förster was to have had it done in the winter, but the truth is the comparing room was not ready.

I must go to Leipzig and to Hamburg, too.

I will send Mr. Hein the vouchers for three months, tomorrow.

I will write you a private letter as soon as I can get time, but I am harder worked than you would suppose. To my usual work, I have added 1st the proof-sheets of my book 2nd letter-writing, 3rd all sort of things incident to being in Europe, -seeing things and people, etc. The fortnight on a slow steamer which I shall select to enforce some idleness will therefore be greatly needed.

Yours very respectfully & very trully

C. S. Peirce




Transcription by Max Fisch, revised by Sara Barrena (2014)
Una de las ventajas de los textos en formato electrónico respecto de los textos impresos es que pueden corregirse con gran facilidad mediante la colaboración activa de los lectores que adviertan erratas, errores o simplemente mejores transcripciones. En este sentido agradeceríamos que se enviaran todas las sugerencias y correcciones a sbarrena@unav.es
Proyecto de investigación "Charles S. Peirce en Europa (1875-76): comunidad científica y correspondencia" (MCI: FFI2011-24340)

Fecha del documento: 25 de marzo 2014
Última actualización: 25 de marzo 2014

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