Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Our Current Auction Closes Apr 11    
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About US   Featured Lots 
Bidder Login
Bidder #

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends April 11th
Space Auction Preview
Begins Apr 12
ASF Charity Auction (16)
The Alan Bean Collection (17)
The Dave Scott Collection (15)
Dan Schaiewitz Space Collection (37)
General Tom Stafford Collection (6)
Exclusive Meteorite Men Collection (25)
Astronomers (16)
Path to Space (12)
Soviet Pre-1970 Space Program (21)
X-15 & “X-Plane”
Program (9)
Space Models (22)
Project Gemini (34)
Project Mercury (45)
Project Apollo (16)
Nasa Flight Directors and Personnel (17)
Apollo Astronauts (19)
Project Apollo Hardware and Spacesuit Parts (26)
Apollo 1 (9)
Apollo 7 (7)
Apollo 8 (6)
Apollo 9 (10)
Apollo 10 (11)
Aviation (7)
Apollo 11 (79)
Apollo 12 (49)
Apollo 13 (41)
Apollo 14 (23)
Apollo 15 (35)
Apollo 16 (30)
Apollo 17 (29)
Skylab (30)
Apollo-Soyuz (13)
Space Shuttle (61)
Soviet/Russian Post-1970 Space Program (6)
Miscellany (11)
All Preview Items (719)
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2018 Auction Calendar
Jan 10
Jan 18
Feb 7
Feb 15
Mar 7
Mar 15
Apr 11
Apr 19
May 9
May 17
Jun 13
Jun 21
Jul 11
Jul 19
Aug 8
Aug 16
Sep 12
Sep 20
Oct 10
Oct 18
Nov 7
Nov 15
Dec 5
Dec 13
  More Dates & Deadlines

Item 7 - Thomas Jefferson Catalog 495 (Mar 2017)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $10,412.50 (includes buyer's premium)


Third-person ALS as president, one page, 7.75 x 9.5, July 13, 1805. In full: "Th: Jefferson presents his compliments & his thanks to Mr. Buxton for the drawings he has been so kind as to send him of a still for the distillation of sea–water. it has been for some time under his contemplation to have that process familiarized to our ships of war, which lose important time in going for water. With Mr. Buxton’s permission, his designs will be considered with a view to that object." In very good condition, with moderate overall soiling and extensive expert repairs and reconstruction to areas of missing paper and fold separations. Jefferson had been interested in the concept of the desalination of sea water since his time as secretary of state in the early 1790s, when a man named Jacob Isaacks claimed to have developed a solution to transform salt water into freshwater. Jefferson himself became involved in experiments testing the veracity of these claims, ultimately finding that Isaacks's mixture did 'not facilitate the separation of sea-water from its salt.' Furthermore, other methods of desalination were already known, and Jefferson undertook research into the topic. It seems that he and the recipient of this letter, Charles Buxton, conversed on this subject in April 1793, and Buxton took it upon himself to forward his own drawings for what he believed to be a more efficient 'distilling apparatus' more than a dozen years later. Although 'evaporators' for distilling salt water were beginning to be used on warships—Lord Nelson's HMS Victory was outfitted with one in 1805—it seems they were still relatively unheard of in the United States. A fascinating letter connecting Jefferson to American ingenuity as it related to the early US Navy. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.