Oliver Lodge

April 26th, 2010 Posted in Letters to the Lab, People in Parapsychology

One June 29, 1940, just under two months before he died, the physicist Oliver Lodge wrote J. B. Rhine. The first half of the letter is typed and the rest is handwritten with a very shaky hand.

Dear Dr. Rhine,

I have heard so much about your experiments in telepathy that I rejoiced to get an authoritative account, and especially to know that a University Professor of Psychology was taking up the subject. And now I find that you were aware of my own work in the same direction, although it was carried on in a back-stairs manner and had no University status At the same time I was personally convinced of the reality of what you have rechristened E.S.P.

I desire no more evidence; only now the subject is on the way to becoming respectable, treated in a handsome volume, published by Henry Holt, & vouched for by several Professor as a branch of Psychology.

Yours faithfully,
Oliver Lodge

lodge

Lodge is referring to the book Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years, which was co-written by J. G. Pratt, J. B. Rhine, Burke M. Smith, Charles E. Stuart, and Joseph A. Greenwood. I double-checked and was happy to see that Rhine had credited all the telepathy experiments that Lodge had undertaken before Rhine. The Lodge letter was very gracious and Rhine was thrilled and proud to get. He wrote a very admiring and grateful letter back.

Ah, the last paragraph from Rhine says this: “I hope, as most Americans do, that the Nazis can be kept from carrying out their threat of destruction of English civilization. I heartily wish we were allied with you on this as we were in 1917.” A year and a half later he would get his wish.

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