A Mutual Friend

“Beebe’s initial design called for a cylindrical vessel, and articles describing his plans were published in The New York Times. These articles caught the attention of the engineer Otis Barton, who had his own ambition to become a deep-sea explorer. Barton was certain that a cylinder would not be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the depths to which Beebe was planning to descend, and sent Beebe several letters proposing an alternative design to him. So many unqualified opportunists were attempting to join Beebe in his efforts that Beebe tended to ignore most of his mail, and Barton’s first efforts to contact him were fruitless. A mutual friend of Barton’s and Beebe’s eventually arranged a meeting between the two, enabling Barton to present his design to Beebe in person.”