Cl £dlt>oru (\bpe>tb




Thomas E. Jeffrey Lisa Gitelman Gregory Jankunis David W. Hutchings Leslie Fields

Theresa M. Collins Gregory Field Aido E. Salerno Karen A. Detig Lorie Stock

Robert Rosenberg Director and Editor


Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site New Jersey Historical Commission Smithsonian Institution

University Publications of America Bethesda, MD 1999

Edison signature used w

i of McGraw-Edlson Company

Thomas A. Edison Papers at

Rutgers, The State University endorsed by

National Historical Publications and Records Commission 18 June 1981

Copyright © 1999 by Rutgers, The State University .

All rights reserved. No part of this publication including any portion of the guide and index or of the microfilm may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means graphic, electronic, mechanical, or chemical, includingphotocopying, recordingor taping, or information storage and retrieval systems— witliout written permission of Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The original documents hi this edition are from the archives at the Edison National Historic Site at West Orange, New Jersey.

ISBN 0-89093-703-6


Robert A. Rosenberg Director and Editor

Thomas E. Jeffrey Associate Director and Coeditor

Paul B. Israel

Managing Editor, Book Edition Helen Endick

Assistant Director for Administration

Associate Editors Theresa M. Collins Lisa Gitelman Keith A. Nier

Research Associates

Gregory Jankunis Lorie Stock

Assistant Editors Louis Carlat Aldo E. Salerno


Grace Kurkowski

Student Assistants

Amy Cohen Bethany Jankunis Laura Konrad Vishal Nayak

Jessica Rosenberg Stacey Saelg Wojtek Szymkowiak Matthew Wosniak


Rutgers, The State University of New National Park Service


Francis L. Lawrence Joseph J. Seneca Richard F. Foley David M. Oshinsky New Jersey Historical Commission Howard L. Green

John Maounis Maryanne Gerbauckas Roger Durham George Tselos Smithsonian Institution Bernard Finn Arthur P. Molelia


James Brittahi, Georgia Institute of Technology R. Frank Colson, University of Southampton Louis Golambos, Johns Hopkins University Susan Hockey, University of Alberta Thomas Parke Hughes, University of Pennsylvania Peter Robinson, Oxford University

Philip Scranton, Georgia Institute of Technology/Hagley Museum and Library Merritt Roe Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Charles Edison Fund The Hyde and Watson Foundation National Trust for the Humanities Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

PUBLIC FOUNDATIONS National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities

National Historical Publications and Records Commission


Alabama Power Company



Atlantic Electric

Association of Edison Illuminating Companies

Battelie Memorial Institute The Boston Edison Foundation Cabot Corporation Foundation, Inc. Carolina Power & Light Company Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

Consumers Power Company Cooper Industries Corning Incorporated Duke Power Company Entergy Corporation (Middle South Electric System)

Exxon Corporation

Florida Power & Light Company

General Electric Foundation

Gould Inc. Foundation

Gulf States Utilities Company

David and Nina Heitz

Hess Foundation, Inc.

Idaho Power Company

IMO Industries

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley H. Katz Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Midwest Resources, Inc.

Minnesota Power New Jersey Bell New York State Electric & Gas Corporation

North American Philips Corporation Philadelphia Electric Company Philips Lighting B.V.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company

RCA Corporation

Robert Bosch GmbH

Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation

San Diego Gas and Electric

Savannah Electric and Power Company

Schering-Plough Foundation

Texas Utilities Company

Thomas & Betts Corporation

Thomson Grand Public

Transamerica Delaval Inc.

Westinghouse Foundation Wisconsin Public Service Corporation

A Note on the Sources

The pages which have been filmed are the best copies available. Every technical effort possible has been made to ensure legibility.


Reel duplication of the whole or of any part of this film is prohibited. In lieu of transcripts, however, enlarged photocopies of selected items contained on these reels may be made in order to facilitate research.

1905. Edison, T.A. - Articles (D-05-07)

This folder contains correspondence requesting Edison to write articles, correspondence relating to articles about Edison or his inventions, and letters from journalists seeking to interview Edison or soliciting his statements for publication.

Approximately 30 percent of the documents have been selected. The items not selected consist primarily of requests for statements and interviews that received only a perfunctory response from Edison.

.xP . ./

#142 W. 117th St., N.Y.ClJjy,

Peb.^l;4, 1905,

Will you be kind enough/to grant me a brief inter- ' in behalf of the N. Y. World, Sunday Magazine Section?

iAory whioh, with your permission,

I desire to write in regard to the ^Notion-Books" whioh you use in your work. A five-minute interview is all I ask, so that I may get one or two hints to round out /the story. X know you have been ill, but perhaps, you will Boon tejel strong enough to appoint the day and date when you can favor *e with this brief word,

, Awaiting you ri reply, I am,

I Respectfully yours,

' ) rvx>v

A/v-uj 'yA/u ^ a t .y,

; a

Miss Kathleen E. Barry, 142 W. 117th St., Hew York.

Dear Miss Barry:


Replying to yours of the 14th inst., heg to state that as I have always made it a rule not do any writing for publication I do not care to make an appointment.

Yours truly,

y/142 W. XX 7 th. St., N .Y .City Feb. 22, 190 B.

My dear Mr. Randolph :

Permit me to thank yjbn very heartily for your courteous letter of the 21st.

Naturally I am k/enly disappointed hy Mr. Edison's refusal to allow one little nqfte-book to be photographed, hut perhaps at a later date he may re/ent. I am sure a great, hig, intellectual giant, broad-minded any kindly, as he 1b, would not refuse to help a poor little newspaper woman hy granting her a favor that would not give him one iota pf trouble, if he really knew how much it meant to her .

I have s/lendid material for my atory, secured from men who have worked with j)tr . Edison , and a fine set of picturea showing him in his laboratory/in various poses, and if I only had a facsimile page of one of tMe note-books around which my story is written, I' d\ consider myselff the luckiest individual on earth.

\ I wifl.1 write to you again in about a fort¬

night, and meanwhile if you have opportunity, maybe you'd tell Mr. Edison that if Ve will peijmit me to visit the laboratory with my photographer ana take a sfiap at the note-book, it will give a hard¬ working woman a big lift /in her profession.

\ Shanks for information about Telegraph Age.

I will look it up. \ /

\J Gratefully yours,


Chicago, Kay 8th, 1905.

Mr. Thos. A. Edison,

Orange, 1-T. J. .My Dear Mr. Misons-

J or evvv-w

>J errw^ Cx.C.C'jXtXi.c-

ClCr ^aa erv\ C. «rwu- 6 uwa--i i uvt -*

Koine time ago when I was Sunday Editor for Kr. Thos. fS. Wanamaker's "Philadelphia 'Torth American", you wrote an article for me on "Cigarettes", analyzing their effect on the human mind and body.

In m argument with one of my Editors on Saturday, I asserted that there wan little difference between rolling your own cigarette, and smoking ih os e already prepared, lie claimed, however, that good tobacco with pure rice paper, contained no aorolin, and was no more injurious than a pipe or cigar-.

Will you kindly settle this dispute for us, and let me know who is in the right.

To my knowledge, that one-half pafee article of yours two or three years ago, cured several newspaper men of the cigarette habit .


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gpotj-ntia organi z ation

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through #e ki

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kindness of Mr,

Squire, I took up the matter indirectly of asking you to write an article to he sen^ut by Potentia to six or seven different countries. This article is especially desired for England,

Era nee and Germany although we would he greatly pleased to use it

also in the United Sti

is. A short time ago t

i enquiry reached this

) from you through a hanking agency. This was evidently done :ertain our standing. 1 think I fully satisfied the representa¬

tive of the Banking Agency as to who we were, and I am now arixio’ waiting for some word from you as to the article in question.

The authors who have written for Potentia so far are Sir Charles W. Dilke, Baron de Gonstant, Paul Beschanel, Paul Morton, Count Apponyi, Caesare Lombroso, and among those who are now writing

3 Mr. John Morley, Mr. James Brici

Postmaster General

Cortelyou, Secretary of Commerce Metcalfe, President Hadley of Yale,

If it would suit your convenience to write something either along the lines already suggested or upon some topic which would suit you better, I assure you you would find yourself in an entirely creditable company, and the article would reach the peoples

T.A. Edit on- #2.

of many countries, "being translated into several different languages for that purpose. The principal journals in each European Capital use the articles. I may also say that a r Norman Lockyer is to make the announcement of a new discovery through us, and Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Barwin and several other scientific men in England have agreed to do the same.

I should he very pleased to hear that you were going to write as suggested, and X thank you most sincerely in advance for the courtesy of a reply to this letter.

■» J-

July 24, 1905.

Mr, J. 1). Whelpley,

Caro The Poteutia Organization,

1 Madison Ave», S. Y. City,

Dear Sir:-

Jir. Edison lias referred to the writer yotir favor of July loth, having reference to an article to ho written "by Mr. Edison, and sent out through your organizations.

Mr. Edison does not write articles of any kind whatever. He is ail extremely busy nan, and devotes his entire time and efforts to his onperieraonts, so that it is impossible for him to give any time to the writing of articles. :ir. Squire -brought up thin question about a week ago, and the writer took it up with Mr. Edison, but ho declined to do anything.

Mr, Squire suggested that possibly an interview could be ar¬ ranged with Mr. Edison, from which an article could be gotten up, but the article would have to be made up by somebody elso, and before being finally printed be submitted to Mr. Edison for his approval. Possibly this would be satisfactory to you. The writer has not suggested it to Mr. Edison, but, if you think well of it, ho will do so, and lot you know if an engagement:, oould be made. Of course, it goes without say ing, that the interview would have to be pre-arranged in such a way that Mr. Edison could give his views, and answer such questions as may be put to him on such subjects as you might care to bring up with which he is

familiar. Yours very truly,




Thomas A.. Edisi Menlo Pj Oran(

Dear Sir:-

New York,...

^ ^ L(u

I read with a great deal of pleasare^the interview ^

James Cree.lman in last Sunday's World, particularly \the part where you

state that in the future power plants will be established at the mines. £

This Company was organized on September 18th, 1905, along the

very lines that you have suggested. I take great pleasure in enclosing

you a copy of the Prospectus that we have prepared for the printer, and

would respectfully ask if you would allow us to ubs the part we have

taken from your interview.

If you would care to look over our drawings, I should be pleased to bring over a set to your laboratory at any time that suits your con¬ venience .

I have the honor to remain.

Respectfully yours,

Pre s .






OP $100 EACH.

Offices, 120-22 Liberty St., N. if


President - Washington B. Vanderlip, *. Ev

Vice President- J. Franldyn Lester.

Secretary - H. S. Mackaye.

Treasurer - Dr. Jesse W. Hedden.

for Franc

‘'starr? to

the St. Paul on Saturday morning under the doctor's ordors. I am say that that article was 43. copyrighted. But I can assure* you that neither I nor the World will leave anything undone to prevent those people from using that interview or your name in any way we possibly can. I ceratinly ohall not consent and the World will also refuse its consent. I will do anything in the way of an objection that you may suggest. The World will also heartily co-oporate in opposition. If, during my absence in Europe, you. may find it necessary to communicate with the World management, please address Mr. Bradford Merrill, the financial manager and editorial supervisor of the whole paper.

He has your letter in his possession, I have explained matters to him, and he has promised to act in the most friendly and energetic way if occasion arises.

Sincerely yours.

1905. Edison, T.A. - Book and Journal Orders (D-05-08)

This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to book and journal orders placed by Edison and members of his family. Included are items pertaining to works on mining, smelting, chemicals, and producer gas.

Less than 10 percent of the documents have been selected. The items not selected consist of acknowledgments for orders placed, together with a receipt for books purchased by Madeleine Edison.




Thomas A.


Phonographs, _




id Edison Automa

25, Clerkenwe]] Road,

London, E.C.

17th January , 1905 .

Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,

Orange, New Jarsey.

Dear Sir,

Concerning the request which you mada to ths writer while in Orange last month, X leg to advise that wa have had your name p lac ad on the mailing list of the "Talking Machine Haws" and "Cinematograph Chronicle " and a copy of this papar will ha sanfc to you oaoh month direct. V/e have also procurad for you copies of October, November , December and January numbers, and wa are mailing sama under separate cover.

Very truly yours ,


1905. Edison, T.A. - Clubs and Societies (D-05-09)

This folder contains correspondence relating to Edison's membership and activities in social clubs and professional societies. Among the items for 1905 are documents pertaining to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the Essex County Country Club, the Magnetic Club of New York, the Old Time Telegraphers' and Historical Association, and various automobile clubs and philanthropic organizations.

Less than 10 percent of the documents have been selected. The items not selected include invitations that Edison declined and correspondence from organizations in which he did not involve himself. Some items bear perfunctory Edison marginalia commenting that he is "too busy" to participate.

€«MMaMWjGMjra Tbitst C©m»Ai?rr

21 Fin SxnmsT, January 14, 1905.

Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,

Orange,!*. .T.

Dear Mr. Edison:-

I have your esteemed favor of the 13th instant, and we are delighted with the prospect of having you with us at our annual Banquet. We certainly hope nothing will transpire to prevent your Being able to attend.

Cordially yours,

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Mr. Walter S. Mallory,

c/o Mr. Thos. A. Vldiso:

Orange ,

Bear Hr. Mallory:

This is to confiii trie dinner of the Magnetic evening, April 13th, as my

All of lir. Edison learn that he has promised enjoy being with us almost X understand that he will think he can he induced in our conversation and d: we can reproduce at the i as the guest of honor on make such a phonographic safeguarded and returned property.

X regret that the room in which the dinner to he held has no lxilcony and that therefore there will he no suitable accommo¬ dation for ladies at the dinner. If it were otherwise we should


verbal invitation to you to attend at the Hotel Astor on Thursday nal guest.

are very much pleased to esent. I feel sure that he will much V? we shall enjoy having him. ■ipt\to speak in person. Bo you

it the suggestion made somethin~\to the phonograph which He will tJte recognised, of course, J;he occasion. If urV Edison consents to ecord we will, of course, have it properly him so that it will m>t become public

insist upon having Mrs- Edison come in, but if she desires to


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V,'. S. Mallory, ESq. ,

c/o The Edison Laboratory, /

\ Orange , K./ J .

My dear Mr. Mallory1; /

I tried to\get you in the telephone this morning, hut they tell me you will 'not he /in until late this afternoon and I think perhaps this lett'er h j special delivery is the quickest way of reaching you. \ /

The arrangementsf.for the banquet on Thursday night are almost completed. V/e are /waiting . however, to hear as to whether

i '


t phonograpi

of course wish to give ir

ird from Mr. Edison, as suggested in he is going to make such a record phonograph on which to reproduce it and !t a place ok the programme.

Mrs. Edison and j

I note your latter of the 7th to the effect that Mr

going to return \o Orange on the night of the banquet. I fear, hcwever, that you wil\). all find this incon¬ venient and I intend speaking to Mrs. Edison '“'later in the day and repeating the suggestion that we he permitted to reserve accommoda¬ tions for them, and for you if you wish it, in the\Hotel Astor.

The banquet promises to be a very enjoyable occasion. I understand that Mr. P. V. LeGraw, the newly appointed Assistant

Postmaster General, Mr. P. P. Pish, the President of the telephone company, Mr. L. C. V/eir, the President of the Adams Express, and a number of other promineht gentleman are expected to he present.

May I trouble you either to telephone me or write me at once as to whether Mr. Edison will prepare a phonograph record.

You understand, of course, that we do not urge him to do this, but the club would be very much honored and pleased if he would consent to say something in that way.

P. S.

I will meet you on Thursday evening at the banquet room in the hotel. The hotel attendants will know where the dinner is to be

Telegraph Age

i/i acooraance witn, our conversat ion of to- tifey this is to remind you thfet you have agreed to contribute §."00 to the entertainment fund of the Old Time Telegrapher s' and Historical Association, the members of which are to meet in reunion in Hew rork City on August 29,30, 31 and September 1.

Thanking you in the name. of the committee, as well as personally, f or your generous contribution, permit me to say that I shall be glad to receive your

In the meantime believe

Very .truly youri

W/ J

N, J.

Mr. Thomas A. Edison,

Llewellyn Park, Vest Orange, H. J. i

I heg to acknowledge receipt of your favor, enclosing check for $100., in payment of ontf share of stock of the Golf Land Company of Essex County, for whic L is enclosed herewith Certifioat of Stock Ho. 170, for one share to your order, and remain, with thanks for the remittance, /

Old Clme C,elegrapber$’ and historical Association,


195 36roa5wa\),


l yo JDlUWUWtty, *7

' n ^ IsiJbe^York, July

q. ' \

Yorkjuly 17th, 190

.. 'A

Thos. A. Edison, Esq.

Orange, New Jersey.

Dear Uri'iEdison: C _ _

As you are av/are, the Old Time Telegraphers l& Historical Association will hold their annual reunion in New York City on August 29th, 30th, 31st and September 1st.

The banquet will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria on Thursday evening, August 31st , at half past six. 1 am sure that the Old Timers, who will be gathered here from all parts of the country, will esteem it a great honor to have the pleasure of meeting you, and therefore, on behalf of the Committee, I extend to you a cordial invitation to favor us with your presence at the banquet, with the understanding that you will not be called upon for an address.

Hoping that you are quite well, and trusting that you will favor us with an early and favorable reply, I am,

1905. Edison, T.A. - Employment (D-05-10)

This folder contains correspondence from or about employees and prospective employees. There are also letters soliciting Edison's opinion regarding former employees seeking positions elsewhere. Most of the correspondence relates to employment requests for the West Orange laboratory. Among the items for 1905 are letters from a voluntary association of Edison's "muckers" (employees), items pertaining to working conditions in the wax works, and correspondence concerning staffing needs at the West Orange laboratory and the Edison Chemical Works.

Approximately 5 percent of the documents have been selected. The items not selected are primarily unsolicited requests for employment at the laboratory and responses to an advertisement placed in the Electrical World and other publications. Some of the letters contain marginal notations by Edison regarding references, interviews, photographs, and salary requirements of applicants. Samples of these items have been selected.

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HAT 4i 1905'.




We take the liberty to enclose a photo of Mr-. Milo P. Andrus one of your workmen of more than thirty years ago. He has followed the electric developement iin all the stages from Menlo Park to New York and Schenectady.

He has been employed as pattern maker, tool maker and foreman since the dawn of the era. Being quite aged he' is retiring Jto-go to the Pacific Coast with r_elatives and we, his fellow workmen, are eolioftihg for the purchase of a token of remem¬ brance of our associations. If you can do anything to make old memories sweeter for him, we are sure it will be apprecia¬ ted.

Tours very respectfully,





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Engineering Company of America

74 Broadway

New York

Mr. Thomas A. Edison,

Orange, If, J.

v ^ May 25th, 1905.

At the present time I am negotiating with Mr. Prank B. Gilbreth, the Cost-plus-a-f ixed-sum contractor at #34 West 26th Street, Hew York, for a position on his staff.

Taking into consideration the fact that I have never

previously asked you for a letter of approval, I hope you may see your way clear to write such a letter to Mr. Gilbreth for me.

If you remember, I started in on the work at Stewarts- ville in the spring of 1900, when Mr. Darling moved his office there and was there for that season’s work and that of 1901. During this time we built the railroad to the quarry and opened that to the extent of the first turn, excavated the reservoir, built the dam and pipe line, the main tunnel and all the founda¬ tions for the engines, crushers and buildingB, as well as doing the grading, ditching and erecting about one-half of the build¬ ings of the plant. Of this part of the work I had responsible charge, organizing the force and doing the work at very low unit prices for the company and supervising the iron work erection of the Phoenix Iron Company.

Engineering Company of America

a», ecofa, mw yoiik, 74 Broadway branch offices

New York

engineers and contractors

Mr. Thomas A. Edison -2-

If you will be kind enough to commend me to Mr. Gilbreth I will ever esteem it as a great favor.

I shall send this to you by Mr. Upton because he has kept track of me since our work there together.

Wishing you continued good health and good fortune.

I remain,

Very truly yours ,


Ubehn flbbonograpb Company unc.





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Mr. Henri Hatch 5 Sheridan Sq. City

•has given us your name as a reference. He has stated himself qualified to fill a position as correspondent or translator accountant, bookkeeper or office clerk.

Kindly advise us confidentially as to his general habits, reputation, personality, ability and experience.

Your full reply will be appreciated as a favor by us, and vie have no doubt as such by him.

Very truly yours,



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Submarine Signal Company


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July 18th, 1905.

Edison Company,

Orange, N. J.


John Prunier applies to this Company for employment in our Turbine Dept . , giving you as a reference . Will you kindly- let us know just what work he has been doing while with your Company, and also anything you may know regarding his character and ability that' you think we may be inisterested in.

Yours very truly


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