Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Register of the Wilson (John) Papers, 1930-1932
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (58.95 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Wilson (John) Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1932
    Collection number: Mss148
    Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Wilson (John) Papers, Mss148, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    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."

    Scope and Content

    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.