Letter:  Photographic Times editor Walter E. Woodbury to A.W. Goodspeed

Letter: Photographic Times editor Walter E. Woodbury to A.W. Goodspeed

In this hand-written letter dated May 22, 1896, Photographic Times editor Walter Edward Woodbury (1865-1905) addresses Arthur Willis Goodspeed, (1860-1943) a professor of physics at Pennsylvania University in Philadelphia regarding a future article he wrote for the July, 1896 issue of the journal. A nine-page article complete with several full-page plates, including one captioned Foot in a Shoe (figure 6) accompanied his published article dated April 30th and titled Radiography and its Application. In it, Goodspeed discussed his experiments with German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen’s major discovery of X-rays the year before. The photographic negative X-Ray plates were supplied to Woodbury by Philadelphia plate maker and photographer John Carbutt. Goodspeed, along with his assistant G. C. McKee, had taken the exposures for them.

The following are the first two paragraphs from the letter by Woodbury. Please magnify your browser should you care to inspect the document more fully:

Prof A.W. Goodspeed

My dear Sir

Many thanks for your kind letter. I shall be pleased to hold over the magazine and give you till the last day of this month for your article. I have written to J. Carbutt for the plates as suggested and shall be pleased (over) to insert them together with any others you can spare for me.
In printing the form I shall be pleased to have a number of each sheet run off the press to be bound in pamphlet form if you will let me know how many you care to have. I sent you a pamphlet I had printed for Prof. Barnard (?) , in the same manner.

The letterhead carries the same artwork by English designer George Richard Quested appearing on the cover of the journal itself. A list of 41 contributors, including Dr. Peter Henry Emerson, Alfred Stieglitz and Henry Peach Robinson to name a few of the more prominent members, are listed down the left side of the letterhead.

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on May 6, 2012:

A rare survivor in the form of a letter written by Photographic Times editor Walter E. Woodbury in 1896 to American radiography pioneer Arthur Goodspeed of the University of Pennsylvania was enough for my latest blog post on PhotoSeed. The discovery of the miraculous proof the year before of the so-called X-Ray, aided by photography’s very ability to record these “mysterious rays” see-through effects on a wide range of materials, included the ever popular appendage known as the human hand. Please see embedded links within post for original postal cover and letter now on the site.

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Letter: Photographic Times editor Walter E. Woodbury to A.W. Goodspeed

Support Dimensions27.8 x 21.5 cm | two page letter with recto of each inscribed leaf shown in order | laid paper with Bankers Linen watermark