Henley Letter to Dreyer, 13 August, 1910

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Letter from Joseph Charles Walrond Henley to Frederic Charles Dreyer, a typed transcript from the Dreyer Papers. It was probably made for hearings before the Royal Commission for Award to Inventors. Reproduced in Brooks, Fire Control for British Dreadnoughts: Choices of Technology and Supply. pp. 470-471.


[DRYR 2/1]

13th August 1910.

My dear Dreyer

x x x x

Re Plotting.

Your screed on T.&R. & T.&B.["Time and Range" and "Time and Bearing" – the graphical data method underlying the Dreyer Fire Control Table and distinguishing it from the Argo Company, Limited systems] has come in officially and gone on but everyone so far is opposed to making it automatic.

Since I last wrote Mr. Pollen appeared one day and informed me he was preparing a scheme for Automatic Time and Ranges Plotting. I said nothing about you having already got the Secret patent for a Time and Range Board but I am pushing on the papers submitting that you should take out a Secret Patent for the whole system of T.&R. & T.&B. plotting whether done manually or automatically and also asking you for drawings of Auto T.&R. and Auto T.&B. board.

Mr. P. may have been on this T.&R. scheme for some time but so far we have no information of any patent having been lodged. Personally I expect he has heard of your scheme through somebody and this has given him the idea).

There seems no reason why we should not have the patent for the principle of auto T.&R. even if we have to fall back on Mr. P's Auto Receiver to do it.

Re Pollen R.F. by terms of contract we shall not get the first one until September 1911 so am afraid it will be towards the end of your commission.

In view of Mr. P's sudden attack on T.&R. I concur with you re secret patents and I hope you agree with me that the patent should cover the whole principle of T.&R. & T.&B. so as to keep him out of it.

I read your letter to Capt. Craig re "your attack on Mr. P." and I certainly did not read your screed in any way as an uncalled for attack or [sic] that gentleman entre nous. We have it in writing now that he foregoes all claims to the principle of plotting so we are now square with him on that point.

I hope the Secy [Secondary] control may be successful as a good deal in the way of future supply depends on it.

Best wishes for a magnificent B.P. [Battle Practice]

Yours ever,

J.C.W. Henley