R A Millikan Autograph Letter Signed dated January 17 1911


R.A.Millikan,  Rare Autograph Letter Signed (ALS), dated January 17, 1911. A letter of appreciation for Allan W.C. Menzies’ two papers on vapor density and lowering vapor pressure, comparing the apparatus Menzies invented with other custom glass apparatus.


Millikan, Robert Andrews. Autograph Letter Signed, dated January 17, 1911. An effusive hand-written letter of appreciation to his colleague with significant scientific content, ink on paper, for Prof.  Allan W. C. Menzies’ two papers on vapor density and lowering vapor pressure, comparing the apparatus Menzies invented with other custom-made glass apparatus. R. A. Millikan received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his measurement of the elementary electronic charge and for his work on the photoelectric effect. Condition fine.

Alan W.C. Menzies (1877 – 1966), a pioneering physical-chemist, ended his distinguished career as a chaired professor and researcher at Princeton University (1914 – 1944). Dr. Menzies took his M.A. at Edinburgh in 1897 and his B.S. there in 1898. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago jointly in Physics and Chemistry under the respective sponsorships of A. A. Michelson and Ulric Nef. Menzies used his skills during the First World War to determine the unknown chemical composition of  poison gas used by the Germans from the precipitate left on the battlefield. His invention of new apparatus, the isoteniscope, was put to wide practical use in determining the molecular weights and vapor pressures of substances (ebullioscopy) for the National Research Council and the Department of Science and Research of the Council on National Defense, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Also during World War I, Dr. Menzies advised the Bureau of Mines, within the Department of the Interior, as he also advised the Chemical Warfare Service within the War Department. His new apparatus was vital in the identification and successful analysis of unknown chemical agents first used on the battlefields of France by Germany (in particular, bromo-acetone) and later in the production of similar agents by the Allies during the First World War.

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