Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Mabel Hubbard Bell, July 26, 1881
I found it to be a note from Dr. Bliss requesting me to be at the Executive Mansion at five o'clock this evening and that the experiment would be made at six o'clock on the person of the President.
Our last opportunity for improving the apparatus had come! We set to work testing some new ideas — and found that a “Condenser” improved the hearing distance of the Instrument. (This idea occurred to me some days ago — but we could not spare time to make a condenser — and did not know where to get one.) Prof. Rowland who called upon us yesterday independently suggested a condenser and spoke so highly of the idea from theoretical considerations that we determined to make the experiment with one. The large Induction coil I brought from England has a condenser inside it — so we opened the instrument and
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him of old — his florid complexion rather detracted from his appearance — by giving him the look of a man who indulged in good living — and who was accustomed to work in the open air.
There is none of that look about him now. His face is very pale — or rather it is of an ashen grey colour which makes one feel for a moment that you are not looking upon a living man. It made my heart bleed to look at him and think of all he must have suffered to bring him to this.
He lay upon his back with his head turned towards the screen. His eyes were closed — and a calm peaceful expression upon his countenance.