Alexander Macfarlane Letters
Alexander MacFarlane attended the 1912 International Congress of Mathematicians in Cambridge. Here are some of the letters he wrote to his wife.
Letter on RMS Royal Edward stationery(*), August 13 and 14, 1912
... have had a most pleasant voyage ... there is a breeze and the ship rolls some, but now we have become accustomed to the motion ... I have a fine stateroom all to myself ... I get a warm salt bath each morning; there are four meals a day, and we have plenty of leisure and accommodation to think and write ... only one drawback to my happiness and that is that you and the boys are not with me ... tomorrow night ... when we arrive in Bristol, perhaps Thursday morning. It takes about 6 hrs to go by rail to Cambridge ... this morning we passed Cape Clear, extremity of the south coast of Ireland ... have been seeing numerous ships all day ... deck hands have just got the luggage up out of the hold in readiness to be transferred to the dock ... We have a Marconi station on board which is capable of receiving messages from 250 miles away ... the Sultan of Turkey had been compelled to abdicate ... We have on board Col. Gardner of the Highlanders ... the man who introduced the Scout movement into Canada ...August 17, 1912: Christ's College, Cambridge
... arrived at Bristol late on (14th) ... went to the old Bull Inn, and stayed there for a day until I got located here by the Secretary of the Congress ... Prof. Hobson ... has given me excellent accommodations ... he took me to dine ... in the College Dining Room ... will be about 600 mathematicians ... Blairgowrie [his home town] is only one hour by rail ...August 26, 1912: Christ's College, Cambridge
Tomorrow will be the last day of the Congress; next day I go on the excursion to Oxford and London ... I am now a member of the Commission on Vector-notation ... Today there was a fine experimental lecture in the Cavendish Laboratory by Sir J. J. Momson ... He studied the experiments I made on the electric discharge and credits me with the discovery of several important facts which are all explained by the new theory of matter and electricity. By the experiments he showed today he can actually separate not only the atom of matter but the atoms of electricity ...
(*) RMS Royal Edward was a passenger ship belonging to the Canadian Northern Steamship Company that was sunk during the First World War with a large loss of life while transporting Commonwealth troops. She was launched in 1907 as RMS Cairo for a British mail service to Egypt. ...