Letter from Erasmus Darwin to James Watt, 1795/12/28

28 December 1795

Darwin writes to Watt on behalf of a patient requesting apparatus for making oxygen gas.



Dear Sir,

I am desired by a patient, who is now in Devonshire, to write to you for a machine for making oxygene gas, the use of which I have recommended to his lady. He wishes to have an apparatus for this purpose only, I must therefore beg, you will please to direct the Iron-pot etc and not the tube nor any unnecessary apparatus. The quantity sent to Mr Walhouse by your people was so much more than was desired, that Mr Babington desires me to specify the pieces, that he may not have more than is necessary simply for procuring oxygene gas. These I think should consist of the iron pot and the thing to set it on, 2nd the bent arm with tin tubes and a refrigeratory or washer. 3. hydraulic bellows and 4th one air holder. 5th a silk bag. He desires the bill to be sent with them. The direction is Thos. Babington Esqr. Hillersdon near Cullompton Devonshire. When he is at home he lives in Leicestershire.

Emma, whom you was so kind as to ask after, took cold and was for a fortnight worse, but is now much better again, but has not lately taken any more oxygene.

I sent the money to pay my bill lately to Birmingham, and I suppose it has or will be soon discharged.

My new vol. will be another month or two before it sees the light, as the bookseller is reprinting the first to sell along with it. As soon as I get any I will send you one.

Mrs Darwin begs to be kindly remember’d to Mrs Watt with

your faithful and affect. friend

E Darwin

Dec 28-95

Mr Babington will be in haste for the apparatus.

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Image creators: Dr Darwin, Erasmus (Creator)
Image courtesy of: Birmingham Archives
Donor ref: JWP/4/23/40