John Chamberlayne wrote Letter L-469 to Leeuwenhoek to ask again about razors and the effects of cold weather on their performance

August 13, 1709

This letter is known only by reference in L.’s reply. The date is New Style, which was eleven days ahead of the Old Style date of 2 August 1709 used by Chamberlayne in London.

In his first letter to Leeuwenhoek, Letter L-386 of 24 April 1701, Chamberlayne also inquired about the effects of extreme heat and cold on razors.

The present letter is the last known letter from Chamberlayne to Leeuwenhoek, who replied to it with Letter L-471 of 10 September 1709 about razors and Letter L-472 of 22 November 1709 about head and facial hair and the muscle of a cod.


Letter L-471 of 10 September 1709 to John Chamberlayne

I saw in your welcome letter from Westminster of the 2nd of August last that you request me to devote my thoughts and observations to the razor and to describe the shape of its edge, which in a good razor is so fine and at the same time so delicate that the least alteration or change of the weather, and especially when it is cold, has such an influence on it that it spoils the said edge and blunts it, so that it will have difficulty in cutting a hair.