Letter from Charles Bage to William Strutt, 1810/03/21

Dear Sir

I have a wish to apply a Thermometer to the purpose of opening and shutting a valve, in order to admit or exclude warm air from a room where an excess would be injurious. I do not see why several lengths of wire properly combined may not answer the purpose, and as I have heard you speak of Zinc as being the most expansible metal, I conclude it must be the best adapted provided it be firm enough not to stretch and lengthen by the small weight by which it is held tight. Will you be kind enough to let me know how much Zinc wire will expand by any given change of heats and whether you see any objection to the planÄWe have occasion for very smooth long troughs for which we commonly use wood lined with tin. As Zinc is rolled into larger plates than tin perhaps it would be more eligibly having fewer seams; but we are totally ignorant in Shrewsbury about it. Can it be soldered together by a common tin man? _ Wheat is the price per foot of the thinnest? _ After many delays we are now about to build for bleaching at Leeds, and for simplicity and economy your Gas plans seems entitled to the preference. Do you still find your workmen satisfied with it? _ I find some prejudice to oppose on the score of its smell. Should the distillation go on faster than the gas can be absorbed by the Goods, there
“must be an escape and an offensive one. Does this ever occur? _

I hope you are completely and comfortably fixed in your new house, and that you have leisure to attend the troublesome enquiries of your friends. Mrs Bage begs to present her compliments to you and Miss Lawrence.

I am Dear Sir always

your obliged servant

Charles Bage