Ref NoDWC/1/5
TitleLetter from Alfred R. Wallace to unknown correspondent
DescriptionLetter from Alfred R. Wallace to "Sir". Regarding an 1870 wager by a flat-Earth proponent named John Hampden who offered £500 to anyone who could demonstrate a convex curvature in a body of water such as a river, canal or lake. The letter relates to the experiment Wallace designed in which he set up two objects along a six-mile (10 km) stretch of canal both at the same height above the water, then mounted a telescope on a bridge at the same height above the water. When seen through the telescope, one object appeared higher than the other, showing the curvature of the earth. The letter includes a diagram.

The judge for the wager, the editor of Field magazine, declared Wallace the winner, but Hampden refused to accept this. He sued Wallace and launched a smear campaign denouncing him as a swindler and a thief, for which, Wallace won multiple costly libel suits against him.
Date20 April 1874
LevelItem
Extent1 bf
LanguageEnglish
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