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Add to My Citations To Orion Clemens
16 September 1871 • Elmira, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00652)
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j. langdon,em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceoffice of j. langdon & co. miners and dealers in

j. d. f. slee,em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceanthracite and bituminous coals. 6 baldwin st.

t. w. crane,

c. j. langdon.em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceelmira, n.y., Sept 16 187 1

Dear Bro—

I believe I would not bother with that knife.

Bear in mind that your wheel, to supplant others, must break ice 3 or 4 inches thick & plow through it without damage to itself.

The biggest [thing is] the world is to invent a steam [railroad] break that the engineer can apply throughout his train without needing breakmen. The N. J. RR run 105 trains a day, & employ say 7 seven breakmen on a train at about $2 a day apiece. Figure that up & you will see that that one railroad could afford to pay you $250,000 a year for the use of such an invention. Can you contrive it?

As to the button. One form of it might be a simple hinge without spring. figureThe screw caret(button)caret would hold it together—passing through above the pants. But I suppose the spring is the best pattern of the two. How does it strike you?

1

Ys

Sam.

altalt

Personal ǀ O. Clemens Esq ǀ 149 Asylum st ǀ Hartford ǀ Conn [return address:] return to j. langdon & co., elmira, n. y., if not delivered within 10 days. [postmarked:] elmira n.y. sep 16

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Orion responded on 18 September. His letter contains the fullest known description of his paddle wheel invention, which he never succeeded in patenting, and answers each of Clemens’s questions in turn. The hinge he described was for Clemens’s garment strap invention (6 Oct 71 to Leggett, n. 7):
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Orion was correct about the train brake. George Westinghouse received his first patent for a compressed-air (not steam) brake on 13 April 1869. The brake had been previously tested in December 1868 on the Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad.



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 457–58.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Mark Twain Papers in Description of Provenance.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


thing is • [sic]

railroad • rail-ǀroad