Lot #135
Robert Fulton Autograph Manuscript Signed

Fulton offers a "comparative view of an engine and hand labour in making cables," estimating cost savings for the French Navy
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Estimate: $2000+

Description

Fulton offers a "comparative view of an engine and hand labour in making cables," estimating cost savings for the French Navy

AMS signed "Robert Fulton," four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8.25, March 7, 1799. Handwritten manuscript headed "Comparative view of an engine and hand labour in making cables," estimating the amount of time and money saved by his technological innovations. In part: "Suppose by the spinning engine one man produces as much yarn as 20 this would reduce the work of spinning from 500 days to 25. 300 days labour seems to be allowed for laying the cable…In order to make the first rope of the able 4 men could certainly put the spools into the engine in one hour. As three such ropes are required, the labour would be 3 hours. The spools must then be put in the engine and the movements of the engine altered for cabling for this two hours are sufficient which together makes 5 hours work for 4 men but for contingencies estimate this at 4 days work. Hence the labour would stand thus; for spinning 25 days, for cabling 4 days, total 29 days instead of 300…the 300 days would incur an expense of 1200 Livres. Whereas my 29 days is but 49 Livres…By the same mode of calculations if the manual labour of the cordage for the Navy of France costs 3 millions per year, 2,333,3337 Livres may be saved." In very good to fine condition, with a small clipped off area, and associated slice to the bottom of the hinge.

Though perhaps best known for his invention of the steamboat, Fulton also developed naval weaponry for several nations—namely France, England, and America. His contributions in this realm included some of the world's earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Royal Navy, and the Nautilus submarine under a grant from Napoleon. In this instance, he aims to use his engine to support cost savings for the French Navy.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Science & Tech
  • Dates: #622 - Ended December 08, 2021





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