Typed text of Frederick Lanchester's “Reply to Mr. Udale’s letter of 13th April 1936”

Scope and Content

Printed in the Journal of the Institution of Automobile Engineers (Vol. IV, No. 9, June – July 1936, pp. 4 – 6) in reply to Mr. Udale’s letter printed in the same issue. Udale had accused Lanchester of making a reckless attack on the U.S.A. Civil Service [in fact, the U.S. Patent Office]. Lanchester had criticised the U.S. Patent Office in a footnote to his paper “Motor-car suspension and independent springing” (in Institution of Automobile Engineers Proceedings, Vol. 30, 1935-36. Footnote, p. 711). This letter in fact reproduces correspondence between Lanchester and his patent agents, Marks and Clark, and these letters themselves include within them the text of letters received from the U.S. Patent Office. The matter at issue is the refusal of the American Patent Office to accept a patent involving the compressibility of a liquid on the grounds that a liquid in a completely closed container is incompressible.