Letters I

A very old picture of an 1871 model of the writing ball, with a flat carriage for the paper frame. Photocopy: Carsten Erik Noe

In this section we will publish all the letters that are presently known to have been written by Rasmus Malling-Hansen himself or letters by others concerning the life and work of Malling-Hansen.



During the first years after the writing ball was built (in 1870), RMH wrote most of his letters on his machine, but later on he often chose to write by hand. Only on special occasions he used the writing ball during the late 1880's. Not many letters are known that have been written on a writing ball by other persons.

But the German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche, wrote a little more that 60 texts on his writing ball. 

The letters will be published in the order in which they were written, in Danish and in English. The first known letter on the writing ball is letter number 3, to Malling-Hansen's mother in law, Emma Heiberg, born Rørdam. (She was really the stepmother and aunt of Malling-Hansen's wife, since her father, when his first wife, Engelke Maria died, married her two years older sister, Emma).



All the letters have been translated into English by Jørgen Malling Christensen, who is related to Rasmus Malling-Hansen's youngest brother, Johan Frederik Hansen.



When needed, we have made some comments to the text, as footnotes - and they are written by Jørgen Malling Christensen(JMC), Christian Barnholdt(CB), or Sverre Avnskog(SA).



Christian Barnholdt: Transcripts and footnotes
Jørgen Malling Christensen: Translations and footnotes
Sverre Avnskog: Transcripts, footnotes and illustrations

List of all available letters from 1857 to 1879.04.03