Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Charles Willson Peale, 27 June 1806

Washington June 27. 06.

Dear Sir.

Yours of the 22d. is recieved, & at the same time mr Hawkins’s small Polygraph, with which indeed I am charmed on account of it’s small size. the drawing the paper up to the pen is a beautiful contrivance, & I do not see why it might not be used in all the Polygraphs to reduce their size. I shall have the improvement of screw-pencases &c. put to this of mr Hawkins; but I find your idea excellent ‘of moving the inkpots nearer to the paper, by means of moving parallels, bringing them as low as the catch or lock that fastens the paper.’ in truth the dip of the pen in mr Hawkins’s is very uneasy & strains the machinery. I presume your moving parallels for the inkpots will be in brass. can you not then send me a set which I may screw on here? I should be very glad to obtain that convenience.

If I judge rightly from your letter, you can add mr Hawkins’s sliding apparatus to the Polygraphs already made. if so I shall very likely send you my small one from Monticello to reform. it will be near a month however before I go there. I salute you with friendship and respect

Th: Jefferson

size of the inkpot

in the small portable

Polygraph of mr



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