Lewis Vulliamy1 to Faraday   1850s

Argyll Street | Tuesday

My dear Faraday

I caught a stray Philosopher yesterday & took him to Dorchester House he was very amiable & we examined the Oiled Specimen of Portland Stone which looks So clean & nice & which has been exposed about 18 months to the weather[.]

Our Friend (Wheatstone) is of Opinion that the surface is rather more decomposed than the part which is not oiled & looks black - he says the surface appears to be converted into Chalk, which causes it to appear so White & Clean -

This is very discouraging, but what will be the effect of Oil & wax on the tops of the Cornice.

Philr. Wheatstone is strong upon Silicate of Potass; but Philr. & Archt. Barry2 has “No opinion of it” - NB he tried it about 3 years ago at Bridgewater House[.]

I went to the Gutta Percha manufactury [sic] & was delighted but the Manager says my plan for laying it on the tops of Cornices will not do the Sun would draw it off & destroy it. The Sun is more to be feared than wet.

Lest the Battery should be a going - I wrote all this on Paper - By the Bye why dont you use sand instead of liquid - I gave myself a shock & also fired a Gun thro 120 miles of wire.

Yours ever faithfully | L. Vulliamy

P.S. Is there any time in the 24 Hours when the Battery is not going, if so, I would attend then -

They say you have not been to the Gutta Percha works.

Lewis Vulliamy (1791–1871, ODNB). Architect to the Royal Institution.
Charles Barry (1795–1860, ODNB). Architect of the Houses of Parliament.

Please cite as “Faraday4738u,” in Ɛpsilon: The Michael Faraday Collection accessed on 5 August 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/faraday/letters/Faraday4738u