1872.04.26 English

Patent  Agency     514 Ninth Street


Royal Swedish and Norwegian Vice Consulate, Washington, April 26 1872[1]




                        Mr Tho. Schmidt.                        Secretary of Legation. New York.



Dear friend.


                  Once again I am strong enough to keep my body in a vertical position and to be able to use a pen.


            Your favour dated 24 of this month (addr to Miss Bendz)was received by her yesterday  evening, and I am very pleased to be able to reply to it by myself. Trine Rasmussen’s claim will today be presented to our new agent for pension issues, and I do hope there will be no difficulty in collecting it – in which case the amount will be sent to you by cheque issued to a bank in New York.In case you can do anything with Reverend Hansen’s writing ball I will, of course, supply you with all the information etc that you may wish. In Reverend Hansen’s latest letter to me he writes that $ 25.000 is the lowest price he will accept for the American patent – he demands cash payment and will possibly demand a high payment in the near future[2]. The patent is finalized and you shall have copies of it, but I don’t have any specimens to send you. I have but one model and cannot send it away – within a few days I hope to be able to show it to the Japanese prince “Iwakura”[3] who will possibly order a number of such machines destined for Japan[4]. However, if you believe you have found a solid buyer who is willing to pay the above mentioned amount in cash, then I will immediately send you the machine that I keep here – I do not expect to be able to sell the patent at such terms. Yours faithfully, C.F. Clausen.



(Added in the margin): In case you see in New York some useful small object which you imagine is worth showing (and possibly patenting) in Denmark, please let me know. Your kind offer to arrange tickets for me by the Baltic Lloyd Line will be received with gratitude – provided my health permits me to travel. I am hoping to be able to travel on the 1st of June on “Humboldt”[5]



[1] JMC: Handwritten letter with pre-printed letterhead

[2] JMC: Is there is misunderstanding here about the price level? It would seem exhorbitant? However, the reason for the remark by RMH that he may raise the price in the near future is probably connected with the coming Art and industry Exposition in Copenhagen in 1872 at which event RMH expected to win a price and much fame for his invention. And, in fact, he did win the gold medal at that occasion!

[3] JMC: Prince Iwakura Tmomi, leader of the Japanese diplomatic Iwakura-Mission. The mission had a very ambitious scope involving more than 100 people and covering study visits to some 22 countries over a period of almost two years from December 23, 1871 until September 13, 1873.  The purposes were to renegotiate treaties with the U.S.A. and other western countries as well as to gather information on education, technology, culture and military, social and economic structures visited in order to effect the modernization of Japan. The mission did visit Washington and it is possible that Clausen had a chance to show the writing ball to the Japanese dignitaries. Later on the mission also visited Denmark.

[4] JMC: The way Clausen phrases this seems to indicate that he has had a previous contact with some other members of the Iwakura mission, and that he has a good chance to demonstrate the writing ball to the mission leader.

[5] JMC: It is likely that the reason for his journey is participation in the big Art and Industry Exposition in Copenhagen.

It was probably this open model of the writing ball that RMH sent to USA in 1871. This illustration was used in an article in the British magazine, "The Engineer" in 1872
The steamship "Humboldt" photographed in 1900
The Japanese delegation, lead by Prince Iwakura, on a photo taken in England in 1872. Photo from Wikipedia