Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister Maja Winteler-Einstein, n.p. [Berlin], 14 December 1921.

In German, one page, 288 x 225mm.

Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) – her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
Listed but not published in Diana Kormos Buchwald, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer, József Illy, & Virginia Iris Holmes (eds). The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (Princeton University Press, 2009), vol. 12, p.484.
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Lot Essay

'What a work of art the good Lord has made in us': a patent case on the perception of sounds, also about family illnesses and his love of Italy.

Einstein is standing as an expert witness in an interesting patent-related court case about an interpretation of acoustics, which turns on 'the lack of complete simultaneity in hearing in both ears ... We are able to pick up time differences of up to 1/100,000th of a second. What a work of art the good Lord has made in us, and yet so pitiful in other relations'.

Einstein is deeply upset to hear that his sister is having such a difficult time, with her husband ill, and worries about the housekeeping: 'Here as well everyone is ill with the exception of myself'. Elsa has a kidney disease and a bladder infection, and his two step-daughters have liver trouble, especially Ilse, so that they can hardly stand up. He had a good trip to Holland: 'lots of work, so that my present existence feels like relaxation. Here it is icy cold and the heating is temporarily out of order. We're absolutely freezing'. He has written to the bank in Zurich to try to correct an administrative problem. He has fond memories of his trip to Italy in October, both of his visit to Maja in Florence and also of Bologna and Padua: 'If I could choose my residence out of free choice, I too would go to Italy for the rest of my days'.
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Einstein and Family: Letters and Portraits
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