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Lot #102
William Ramsay

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Estimate: $300+
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Scottish chemist (1852-1916) who discovered the noble gases and won the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. ALS signed “W. Ramsay,” one page both sides, 5 x 8, University of London letterhead, December 5, 1908. Letter to Miss Taylor, in part: "A similar sample was sent me from Chile or Peru about a year ago. A Frenchman appears to have received one too; & in a late number of the Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, an investigation is described, in which it is stated to be due to the radioactivity of the soil & the air near it. It is suggested that this radioactivity is the cause of the large deposits of sodium nitrate—'Chili saltpetre—on the top of the Andes. Could you tell me if my special deposits are found near where your sample turned violet? Borax, or nitrates, or so-called 'alkali'? It is said to be due to the manganese in the glass; but I think that doubtful, for under the influence of radium emanation all soda-glass turns violet, whether it contains manganese or not, apparently." In fine condition, with a few light stains.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #529 - Ended June 13, 2018

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