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Important document signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State in 1792, approving very early attempts at water desalination. As the quintessential gentleman-scientist, Jefferson studied desalination in great depth, primarily for the purpose of having potable water aboard U.S. ships. He shepherded through Congress this funding to take salt water samples and extract fresh water from them. Document reads in full, ''Second Congress of the United States: At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, on Monday, the twenty-fourth of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one. Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury cause to be provided, for the use of several collectors in the United States, printed clearances, on the back whereof shall be printed an account of the methods, which have been found to answer for obtaining fresh, from salt water, and of constructing extempore stills, of such implements, as are generally on board of every vessel, with a recommendation, in all cases, where they shall have occasion to resort to this expedient for obtaining water, to publish the result of their trial in some gazette, on their return to the United States, or to communicate it for publication, to the office of the Secretary of State, in order that others may, by their success, be encouraged to make similar trials, and be benefitted by any improvements or new ideas, which may occur to them in practice...Approved, May eighth, 1792.'' Signed ''Th. Jefferson'' at the conclusion. Single page measures 9.75'' x 15.5'', housed in a custom quarter leather case. In very good condition, with professional repairs to folds on verso, several small repaired areas of paper loss and light haloing to Jefferson's signature. Accompanied by several supporting documents, including a newspaper article on this very document from the ''Phoenix Gazette'' dated 28 March 1956 and a letter from the Department of Interior dated 10 February 1954, which details the history of this Act and its ''conversion'' technology, invented by Rhode Island resident Jacob Isaacs, whose work was supervised by Jefferson. Jefferson's subsequent ''Report on Desalination of Sea Water'' mirrors the text of this resolution.
Thomas Jefferson Signed Document From the Second Session of Congress -- Jefferson Approves Funding to Desalinate Water
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