Rare Michael Faraday Signed Letter with a Carte-de-visite

  • Michael Faraday Autograph Letter Signed.

Michael Faraday Autograph Letter Signed.


Item Number: 73081

Autograph letter signed by Michael Faraday to William Coffin answering a question regarding the chlorate reaction with sulfuric acid, “or oil of vitriol,” in gunpowder. Addressed to William Coffin, it reads, “R[oyal] Institution, January 1, 1849, My dear Sir, I conclude you mean the acid which fires gunpowder – not directly but through the medium of the Chlorate mixture that and is as far as I know the strength liquid Sulfureum and or out of Vitriol. Ever Truly Yours, Michael Faraday.” Matted and framed opposite a carte-de-visite of Faraday by John Watkins. The entire piece measures 11.25 inches by 14.25 inches.



Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. He similarly discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology. As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularized terminology such as "anode", "cathode", "electrode" and "ion". Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position.

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