[D0001AAA], Letter from William Edgar Gilmore to William S Logue, February 13th, 1900


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D0001AAA], Letter from William Edgar Gilmore to William S Logue, February 13th, 1900





Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University


Letterhead of Edison Manufacturing Co.
SALESROOMS: 135 Fifth Avenue, corner 20th Street,
Orange, N. J.,
Feb. 13, 1900.
W. S. Logue, Esq.,
C/o J. C. Barclay,
W. H. Tel. Co.,
Chicago, Ill.
Dear Sir:-
Your letter of Feb. 6th, from Toledo, asking that you be advised as to the result of the test being made so as to avoid the congealing of our battery, came duly to hand. I sent this to Mr. Vose, who in following up these tests, and I beg to quote you a memo. that he has sent back in answer thereto:
"An extensive series of tests were made under Mr. Edison's directions on artificially freezing, by means of liquid carbonic acid, samples of solution from batteries in different degrees of exhaustion and prepared with different densities of solution containing from 1% to 35% of soda. With the apparatus used a temperature of 40 F. could be obtained, but it was impracticable to maintain it for a long time. In these tests solutions with 20 to 25% of soda gave results very nearly alike, standing temperatures of 30 F. or lower without freezing, while solutions below 20% and above 25% were more easily frozen.
These tests, however, seem of little use as they do not at all agree with the results found in practice when the batteries are exposed to the cold for a longer time. Thus the same exhausted batteries from which the samples were taken for the above mentioned tests were on Jan. 26th put out doors, since which time the lowest observed temperature has been about 10 F., though possibly lower during some nights, and most of the time much higher. Three days later those with solution above 30% were full of slush, the 25%, which is our regular solution, had a little slush, and those between 25% and 30% had intermediate quantities, varying about in proportion to their densities. One day later Letterhead of Edison Manufacturing Co.
SALESROOMS: 135 Fifth Avenue, corner 20th Street,
those with 23% and 24% solutions also contained some slush, and it had increased in those of higher densities. No solution below 23% showed any, and since that time there has been no increased freezing of any solutions.
Mr. Gladstone has informed me that an analysis of the Gordon so-called "Electric Sodium" by an outside chemist showed that it contained about 5% of common salt, and tests by Mr. Edison's chemists have shown about the same, and that it is otherwise practically identical with our own so-called "Castle Potash".
The package of soda furnished with the Gordon batteries are such as to make a 20% solution, while we furnish enough to make a 25% solution, though recommending in our catalogue a 20% solution for use in situations where exposed to cold; but I have been unable to learn of any cases in which a 20% solution of our soda has been used and frozen in practice.
In the artificial freezing tests previously mentioned a 20% solution of our soda acted almost exactly the same as the Gordon solution, and in the cells put out doors neither the Gordon nor our own 20% solution has yet been frozen at all.
Preparations have been made under Mr. Gladstone's directions for a test at the ice factory on Lakeside Ave., where solutions of various densities and also with the addition of salt will be tried under greater cold then will probably be met with under natural conditions, and we are now awaiting the convenience of the Ice Company before starting this test."
I have been hoping to get at Mr. Edison to discuss the whole of this fully, but, as you have doubtless seen by the papers, he has been ill. He got home Saturday night, but is under the doctor's care, and as the weather here yesterday and to-day has been very bad, I presume he will not get down to business; in fact, he may stay up for a day or two longer.
The fact that both chemists found upon analysts that there was 5% Letterhead of Edison Manufacturing Co.
SALESROOMS: 135 Fifth Avenue, corner 20th Street,
of common salt in the potash used by the Gordon people is quite interesting, and I think that what we have got to do is use something similar in connection with our potash. I think this will obviate the freezing. As you know, salt has been used in street railway work, etc., for a great many years to dissolve snow and ice, and I presume that it has certain qualities in it that will be useful in connection with our batteries. However, as I said before, I am going to take this up with Mr. Edison at the quickest possible moment and we will doubtless reach a decision soon. In the meantime, if you have anything to suggestion, let me know. Of course as fast as I learn anything you will learn be advised either by Mr. Gladstone or myself.
Yours very truly,
[W. E. Gilmore?]
General Manager.
Download CSV | JSON