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Invisible Writing Experiment from the Photographic Experiments of Sir John Herschel, October 19, 1839

preview image for Invisible Writing Experiment from the Photographic Experiments of Sir John Herschel, October 19, 1839
Inventory Number: 23385
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel
Date Created: 1839
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experiment in invisible writing by Sir John Herschel, October 19, 1839, employing chemistry closely related to his photographic experiments. The writing is on a slip of thin paper, and shows through the back. The paper is only slightly chemically discoloured, and the writing is dark on a light ground and sharp in appearance (like ink but unlike chemical writing), both paper and writing having very nearly the natural appearance of paper and ink. All three of Herschel's invisible writing experiments (see 53873 and 78062) are different in appearance, and thus presumably in chemistry and process. The exact chemical details are not known.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: The invisible writing in Herschel's hand reads: 'Oct 19 1839 | Written with invisible Ink | Slough Oct 19. 1839 | J. F. W. Herschel | J. F W. Herschel'.
Provenance: Presented by Miss Herschel and Lady Lubbock in 1928. They were the two surviving and youngest children of Sir John Herschel (Francisca and Constance).
Collection Group: Herschel's Photographic Experiments
Material(s): Paper
Dimensions:
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
60 142 mm

Narratives

Image with multimedia irn 49591Image with multimedia irn 49592

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