A MOST INTERESTING COLLECTION OF CONGRATULATORY LETTERS UPON A TESTIMONIAL DINNER FOR AMBROSE SWASEY, SCIENTIST AND INVENTOR, THAT INCLUDES LETTERS HONORING HIM FROM ORVILLE WRIGHT AND THOMAS EDISON AND MANY MORE OF THE LEADING SCIENTIFIC / INDUSTRIAL MINDS OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
SWASEY, AMBROSE. (1846-1937) American mechanical engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, astronomer, and philanthropist. While Swasey is not well-known, he was one of the most respected scientists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Group of thirty-seven type letters, three autograph letters, nine telegrams, and the signatures of 80 Cleveland scientists fronted by an illuminated testimonial page accomplished by the Stern Brothers of New York. Accompanied by a printed “Testimonial Dinner” menu with an engraved portrait sketch of Swasey on first page Signed, “Ambrose Swasey.” Also signed by the artist. The letters and telegraphs are all congratulatory letters penned by individuals who were unable to attempt the testimonial dinner put on by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers on Friday, May 14, 1926. They include:
ORVILLE WRIGHT — Typed Letter Singed, “Orville Wright,” on his name-imprinted letter head. One page, quarto. May 12, 1929. Wright writes:
‘Dear Mr. Brown: It is with much regret that I find it will not be possible for me to attend the testimonial diner to Mr. Swasey on May 14th. I am pleased with this action of the Cleveland Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in thus adding to the many recognitions of Mr. Swasey’s contributions to science and mechanical engineering. Sincerely yours, Orville Wright.”
THOMAS EDISON — Typed Letter Signed, “Thos. A Edison,” on his name-imprinted “From the Laboratory of” stationery. One page, octavo. May 6, 1926. Edison writes:
“My Dear Mr. Brown: I greatly appreciate the invitation extended to me to participate in a testimonial dinner to Mr. Ambrose Swasey on Friday, May fourteenth. Much as I would like to give myself the pleasure of sending you an acceptance I shall be unable to do so as my stomach has been giving me some trouble the last two or three months, and that, with my extreme deafness, brings about a great limitation in my attendance at functions of this nature. Very truly yours, Thos. A Edison.”
Other letters of congratulations come from ROBERT STANISLAUS GRIFFIN (1857- 1933) Rear Admiral in the United States Navy; ALEXANDER C. HUMPHREYS (1851-1927) mechanical engineer and educator; JAMES HARTNESS (1861-1934) American Inventory, mechanical engineer, and Governor of Vermont; GEORGE K. BURGESS (1874-1932) American physicist and director of the National Bureau of Standards. Burgess in considered one of the most notable scientists of his era; and JOHN RIPLEY FREEMAN (1855-1932) American civil and hydraulic engineer. Among the 80 Cleveland signers found at the start of the album is Charles Francis Brush (1849-1929) Inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
All are contained in an attractive contemporary quarto leather presentation jacket with a press clipping regarding this album at the end. Just a remarkable remnant and reminder of the great age of innovation, it’s leaders and inventors at the turn of the last century.