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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Pickard & Stoneman1   1 December [1862]2

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

December 1st


I shd. be very much obliged if you would answer me the following questions. You can return this note with answers which will save you trouble & I enclose envelope.—3

Would a case 36 inches long & 24 inches high act for stove plants, & price in varnished deal?4


How many gallons of water does the pan of the 48 inch case hold?


The case will stand in window which comes to within 18 inches of floor.—

Do you think 20 inches would be good height for legs; or what height do you generally recommend?


Sir | Your obedt. sevt | Ch. Darwin


The recipient is identified by an entry in CD’s Account book–cash accounts (Down House MS) recording a payment to ‘Pickard’ of £4 14s. for a ‘Glass Plant case’ (see n. 4, below). Pickard & Stoneman was a firm of cabinet makers located at 10 Spencer Street, Shoreditch, London (Post Office London directory 1861).
The year is established by the inquiry concerning a case for ‘stove’ plants; CD ordered a case from Pickard & Stoneman on 11 December 1862 (see n. 1, above, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 [December 1862]).
The answers were written in the spaces provided (see nn. 5, 6, and 7, below).
CD required the plant case so that he could work with temperature-sensitive plants like Oxalis sensitiva (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 November 1862, and letter to J. D. Hooker, [after 26] November [1862]).
The recipient wrote: ‘Yes— Refer to Price List’. The enclosed price list has not been found.
The recipient wrote: ‘About 4 Gallons’.
The recipient wrote: ‘We consider for that height of Window, the legs Should be 18 inches—’.


Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Asks for information about cases for stove-plants. [Answers recorded in another hand.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.283)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3839,” accessed on 21 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10