Papers of John Sealy Edward Townsend
Bodleian Library, University of OxfordEAD version by Lawrence Mielniczuk
Department of Special Collections
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Shelfmark(s): MS. Eng. misc. a. 19
Title: Papers of John Sealy Edward Townsend
Dates of Creation: 1914-1956
Extent: 1 box
Language(s) of Material: English
- 1868 Born in Galway, Ireland
- 1885 Entered Trinity College, Dublin
- 1890-1895 Fellowship Prizeman
- 1895 Entered Trinity College, Cambridge, as an advanced student
- 1898 Clerk Maxwell Scholar
- 1899 Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
- 1900-1941 Wykeham Professor of Theoretical Physics and Fellow of New College,
- 1903 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society
- 1910 Opening of the Electrical Laboratory (now the Townsend Laboratory)
- 1911 Married Mary Georgiana Lambert
- 1914 Hughes Medal
- 1914-1918 Wireless research, Royal Naval Air Service
- 1941 K.B.E.
- 1941 Retirement
- 1957 Death
Scope and Content
The collection comprises:
Folder 1: Memoir by A. von Engel (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal
Society, Vol. 3, November 1957, pp. 257 - 272).
Folder 2: Electricity and Radio Transmission, Winchester: Warren &
Son: 9 MS. pages of corrections and a drawing for figure 22, 1943.
Folder 3: 'Radiation and Energy', Chapter IX of Electricity and Radio
Transmission: typescript with extensive MS. corrections, 1943.
Folder 4: Electromagnetic Waves, London, Hutchinson's, 1951: annotated
copy with list of corrections and 2 pages of notes from the 1946 edition of
Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1951.
Folder 5: MS. notes taken on 'History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity' by
E.T. Whittaker, Dublin University Press, 1910, n.d.
Folder 6: MS. draft of 'Transmission of Waves in Aether', n.d.
Folder 7: 'Transmission of Waves in Aether. Maxwell's Theory': typescript and copy
(both with MS. corrections), n.d.
Folder 8: 'Theory of Waves in Gases': typescript with extensive MS. corrections
(includes abstract, preface, and 'list of paragraphs'), 2 envelopes containing
Folder 9: MS. notes on books read (Poincaré; 'Electric Waves' by Hertz),
Folder 10, containing:
- One letter from Professor W.O. Schumann dated 4 April 1954
- One letter from Professor G. Lamparillo dated 15 June 1953.
Folder 11: Diagrams for wavemeter IV, n.d.
Folder 12: Patent No. 15788, 'Improvements in and relating to electrical vacuum
discharge devices', 1914-1915.
Folder 13: Envelope marked '3 English patents', containing:
- Patent No. 115876, 'Improvements in variable electric inductances', 18 May
- Patent No. 130429, 'Improved means for detecting small electric currents', 23
- Patent No. 129579, 'Improvements in electric wave meters', 4 February
Folder 14: Envelope marked '3 French patents', containing:
- Patent No. 499497, corresponding to British Patent No. 115876, 20 November
1919, and a MS. copy of a letter authorising construction and sale by
Établissements Gaumont of Paris, 19 February 1921
- Patent No. 21803, as addition to No. 499497, 5 November 1919
- Patent No. 496870, corresponding to British patent No. 130429, 2 October
- Copy of 'Notice sur le Contrôleur d'Ondes Gaumont', 24 May 1923.
Folder 15: Envelope marked '3 Italian patents', containing:
- Patent No. 241, Vol. 501, 31 December 1918
- Patent No. 242, Vol. 501, 31 December 1918
- Patent No. 242, Vol. 501 (addition), 31 December 1918.
Folder 16: Contract with the Admiralty to supply 18 wavemeters, 1918.
Folder 17, containing:
- Envelope marked 'Agreement Johnson and Phillips' regarding patents in Item 13,
30 June 1920
- Envelope marked 'Bristows, Cooke and Carpmael' containing 'expenses of Johnson
and Phillips License and claims in respect of wavemeter v. government',
Folder 18: Patent No. 177938 (524821), 'Improved method of
and means for measuring the length of electric waves' with James Herbert Morrell,
15 February, 1921.
Folder 19: Envelope marked '3 American patents', containing:
- Patent No. 1376592, 'Variometers', 3 May 1921
- Patent No. 1421041, 'Variometers', 27 June 1922
- Patent No. 1455458, corresponding to British Patent No. 130429, 'Means for
detecting small electric currents', 15 May 1923.
Folder 20: Envelope marked 'Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd, Deed of Terms and
License', 18 October 1924.
Folder 21: British Patent No. 257334, 'Improvements in adjustable inductances' and
letter from chartered patent agents, 27 May 1925.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were acquired by the Bodleian in 1957.
Preferred Form of Citation
Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by folder number, e.g. MS. Eng. misc. a. 19,
Townsend | John Sealy Edward | 1868-1957 |
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25 October 2017