Zuschriften an die Herausgeber: Prüfung der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie [Communication to the Editors: A Test of the General Theory of Relativity]
SCARCE FIRST PRINTING IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS OF EINSTEIN’S REPORT OF THE CONFIRMATION OF GENERAL RELATIVITY; PRECEDING THE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ROYAL SOCIETY AND ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.
“In the early fall of 1919, when Pauline Einstein was in the sanatorium, she received a postcard from her son which began, ‘Dear Mother, joyous news today. H.A. Lorentz telegraphed that the English expeditions have actually demonstrated the deflection of light from the sun.’ The telegram that had announced the news to Einstein a few days earlier read, ‘Eddington found star displacement at the sun’s edge preliminary between nine-tenth second and double that. Many greetings. Lorentz.’ It was an informal communication. Nothing was definitive. Yet Einstein sent almost at once a very brief note to Naturwissenschaften [the paper offered here] for the sole purpose of reporting the telegram he had received. He was excited” (Pais, Subtle is the Lord, 303).
Word then began to travel fast. “On October 22, Carl Stumpf, a psychologist and fellow member of the Prussian Academy, wrote to Einstein, ‘I feel compelled to send you most cordial congratulations on the occasion of the grandiose new success of your gravitation theory. With all our hearts, we share the elation which must fill you and are proud of the fact that, after the military-political collapse, German science has been able to score such a victory...’ On November 3 Einstein replied ‘On my return from Holland I find your congratulations... I recently learned in Leiden that the confirmation found by Eddington is also a complete one quantitatively.’ A few days after the joint meeting [of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society] of November 6 [where the results were presented], Lorentz sent another telegram to Einstein, confirming the news. On November 7, 1919 [when the London Times reported the news], the Einstein legend began” (Pais, 306).
IN: Die Naturwissenschaften, Heft 42, 17 October 1919; p. 776. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1919. Quarto, original wrappers; custom box. Extremely fragile wrappers with spine perished, now reinforced with archival adhesive. Text clean with no institutional stamps. RARE.