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Thomson, William, 1824-1907 (Baron Kelvin of Largs, mathematician and physicist)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1824 - 1907

Biography

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), scientist and inventor, studied at Glasgow University from 1834, before entering Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 1841, where he was a fellow, 1846-1856 and 1872-1907. He was professor of natural philosophy in Glasgow, 1846-1899; president of the mathematical and physical section of the British Association at Glasgow, 1876; and chancellor of Glasgow University, 1904. He also helped to found the the firm Kelvin&White, Ltd., Glasgow, which he used to manufacture his inventions. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1851, and served as president from 1890 to1894. He was knighted in 1866 and created baron in 1892. Between 1851 and 1854 Thomson formulated the two great laws of thermodynamics, equivalence and transformation. In 1853 he developed the theory of electric oscillations, which was to form the basis of wireless telegraphy, and he superintended the laying of a cable across the Atlantic in 1866.

Found in 51 Collections and/or Records:

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 File — Multiple Containers

31 letter books containing drafts (except for LB4 which contains press copies) of letters written to Kelvin, 1878-1906

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/LB1-LB31
Scope and Contents

LB1 to LB4, 1878-1884; LB5 to LB31, 1899-1906.

Dates: 1878-1906
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/2/PA1-86: Box 16

Cambridge and Glasgow, 1840s and 1850s., 1840-1859 (Circa)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/2/PA18-PA41
Dates: 1840-1859 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/1/CS1-708: Box 9

Compass and sounding machine correspondence, 1877-1880, 1877-1880

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/CS1-CS708
Scope and Contents

There are letters from various people and organisations to Kelvin and to his nephew William Bottomley, concerning Kelvin's inventions. Roughly half the letters are to Kelvin, half to Bottomley.

Dates: 1877-1880
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/1/OM1-59, PR1-438, RT1-26, TM1-31: Box 15

Congratulations received by Kelvin and his wife in 1902 when he was awarded the Order of Merit and made Privy Councillor., 1902

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/OM1-OM59
Dates: 1902
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 Series

Correspondence, 1846-1906

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1
Dates: 1846-1906
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 Series — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Correspondence of James Clerk Maxwell, Peter Guthrie Tait and William Thomson, 9 Mar. 1859-2 Sep. 1879 (There are 7 undated items within the series and some others of problematic dating)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/I
Scope and Contents

A series of 164 letters mostly in correspondence with Peter Guthrie Tait, with other items from William Thomson, Lord Kelvin; all in correspondence with J.C. Maxwell

Dates: 9 Mar. 1859-2 Sep. 1879 (There are 7 undated items within the series and some others of problematic dating)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/1/DS1-25, JB1-240: Box 10

Correspondence relating to attempts to have the decimal system of weights and measures accepted in Britain, 1901-1906., 1901-1906

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/DS1-DS25
Dates: 1901-1906
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/1/OM1-59, PR1-438, RT1-26, TM1-31: Box 15

Correspondence relating to Kelvin's retirement in 1899., 1899

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/RT1-RT26
Dates: 1899
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File

From Carl Haag to Sir William Thomas (Lord Kelvin), 18 Feb. 1890

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8812/1
Scope and Contents

He will look carefully at specimen drawings by Thomson's niece; Dobson will propose her, Haag will second it

Dates: 18 Feb. 1890
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

From Hermann Von Helmholtz to Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), 2 Sep. 1883

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8812/4
Scope and Contents

He is invited to join a commission to consider building 'a kind of scientific physical observatory' at Berlin, proposed by him and Dr Werner Siemens; he is urged to become director; would be able to concentrate on purely scientific work

Dates: 2 Sep. 1883
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/2/PA183-275: Box 18

Indian Telegraph Service Examination

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/2/PA232-PA242
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/1/DS1-25, JB1-240: Box 10

Jubilee congratulations received by Kelvin and his wife for the jubilee of his professorship in 1896., 1896

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/1/JB1-JB240
Dates: 1896
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 File — Box: MS Add.7342/2/PA1-86: Box 16

Kelvin's notes made while reading with William Hopkins at Cambridge.

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7342/2/PA11-PA17
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the original papers is restricted. A set of microfilms is available for consultation, reference CM04807-CM04856
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from Arthur Cayley to W. Thomson, with note by Thomson added, 5 Dec. 1871

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/54
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 5 Dec. 1871
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 30 Mar. 1871 (SLP 365)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/11
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 30 Mar. 1871 (SLP 365)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 17 Apr. 1865

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/22A
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 17 Apr. 1865
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 17 Aug. 1869 (SLP 326)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/33
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 17 Aug. 1869 (SLP 326)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 14 Apr. 1870 (SLP 339)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/36
Scope and Contents

With notes by way of reply added by Thomson

Dates: 14 Apr. 1870 (SLP 339)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 14 Mar. 1871 (SLP 362)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/45
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 14 Mar. 1871 (SLP 362)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 8 Feb. 1872 (SLP 402)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/55
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 8 Feb. 1872 (SLP 402)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, 10 Aug. 1872 (SLP 420n)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/61A
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 10 Aug. 1872 (SLP 420n)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to W. Thomson, with Thomson's reply added, 7 Nov. 1871 (SLP 390)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/52
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 7 Nov. 1871 (SLP 390)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from W. Thomson to J.C. Maxwell, 24 Aug. 1872 (SLP 420n)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/62
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 24 Aug. 1872 (SLP 420n)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from W. Thomson to J.C. Maxwell, 7 Sep. 1879 (SLP 757n)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/201
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 7 Sep. 1879 (SLP 757n)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item — Box: MS Add.7655/I-III: Box 1

Letter from W. Thomson to J.C. Maxwell, 17 June 1871 (Note contemporary with letter, SLP 377n)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/I/a/19
Scope and Contents

Has note added by P.G. Tait

Dates: 17 June 1871 (Note contemporary with letter, SLP 377n)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
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Type
Archival Object 48
Collection 3
 
Subject
Astronomy 1
Boer War (1899-1902) 1
Metric system 1
Metrology 1
Science 1