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Letter 1677

Darwin, C. R. to Cresy, Edward, Jr

29 Apr [1853]

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    Discusses installation of watering system. Sent question to Gardeners' Chronicle but, through EC's kindness, superfluously.


Down, Farnborough, Kent,

April 29th.

My dear Sir,

I am uncommonly much obliged to you for your note which has been of the greatest use to me. From what you say, I will try the siphon plan, with 112 inch pipe, which was just what I wanted to know. What you say about a good pump being required to fill the siphon, has made me think of my hydropathic Douche Pump (not now used) which is a three inch lift pump and stands just in the right place. I will try a union joint (as you suggest) but at only one end, and will, when filled, plug it up, lower it in the tank to be filled, and then by a string and stick pull out the plug.

I am also very grateful for suggestion about the 9 inch ribs of Brickwork which shall be done. In your section, I see that the extra and upper half-brick work does not bond with the lower half-brick, and I suppose this is intentional, for Mr. Lastell told me before, that in strengthening a dome all over, the upper course was only cemented on the lower, not bonded into it. If I understand your section wrong, perhaps you will send me a line: if I do not hear, I shall understand that I am right.

The only point on which I am doubtful is the kind of hose: it will be seldom used, and I will call on Burgess & Key and see what they say about their canvas hose coated & lined for the douche, and used for watering gardens with pure water or liquid manure. This is only 9d per foot, 112 inch bore. I shd. grudge much more expense for my plan.

I hope sometime in the course of the summer (part of which however we shall be away) to persuade you to pay me a visit for a day or two.

With very many thanks for your valuable advice, | Sincerely yours, | C. Darwin.

At the same time I wrote to you I sent the same question to the Gardeners' Chronicle but it now turns out through your kindness quite superfluously.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1677.f1
    This and the letter to Edward Cresy, 15 May [1853], are dated by their relationship to CD's letter to the Gardeners' Chronicle, [c. 27 April 1853].
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    f2 1677.f2
    After taking the water-cure at James Manby Gully's hydropathic establishment in Malvern in 1849, CD had a douche erected at Down House to enable him to continue the cold-water treatment at home (see Correspondence vol. 4, letters to Susan Darwin, [19 March 1849], and to W. D. Fox, 4 September [1850], n. 2).
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    f3 1677.f3
    The copy has ‘Lastell’, which is changed to ‘Laslet’ in the margin. The correct spelling is ‘Laslett’. Isaac Laslett was the local bricklayer and builder frequently employed by CD.
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    f4 1677.f4
    Burgess & Key, patent agents of 103 Newgate Street, London (Post Office London directory 1853).
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    f5 1677.f5
    The Darwins took a house in Eastbourne, Sussex, from 14 July to 4 August (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I).
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    f6 1677.f6
    See letter to Gardeners' Chronicle, [c. 27 April 1853]. The letter to Cresy of the same date has not been located.
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