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Register of the Wilson (John) Papers, 1930-1932
Mss148  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection consists of petitions for release, letters, and drawings of inventions by mental patient John Wilson. Four of the petitions are in the form of long scrolls made up of smaller pages pasted together.
Background
John Wilson was an inmate in the Stockton State Hospital for the Insane. In his correspondence, Wilson indicates that he received two felony convictions, was sent to Folsom prison (March 8, 1895) and was later (1904) transferred to the Stockton State Hospital for the Insane. Wilson claims to have been illegally transferred to the asylum with out a hearing. In his writings Wilson begs to be released from his "illegal imprisonment, where he is being tortured by invisible, wireless electricity." He also writes with some ire to the hospital Superintendent, Dr. Margaret H. Smythe, about his treatment in the hospital, describing himself as an important inventor whose patents have been stolen. Wilson's inventions included: a reversible, rotary propeller for helicopters and ships; an automatic relighting electric lamp; a puncture proof tire; tire compartments for automobiles; and, a closing tire valve. John Wilson was apparently in contact with V. Covert Martin, a Stockton Record photographer. A Wilson letter addressed to Martin expresses concern that his petitions for release are not being delivered. This collection was previously filed under the pseudonym of "John Wilton."
Availability
Collection is open for research.