[D0018AAG], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Arthur Simpson Slater, Edison-Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co Ltd, September 1900


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[D0018AAG], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Arthur Simpson Slater, Edison-Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co Ltd, September 1900

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


A Simpson Slater Esq
Secy _
Dear Sir _
Yours of Sept 11th at hand
In answer permit me to state a few facts
First Fact
A dozen years ago I sold all my foreign phonograph patents to the Edison United Phonogh Co of N York = taking all of my pay in stock and advancing some cash to help exploit the business this Co adopted the plan of making money by promoting Companies instead of merchandising for years they did nothing _ allowed the patents to lapse in nearly every country = The stock is now worthless and I have never been repaid the money I loaned it, I have not only not received a cent for my patents but lost money in addition _
<Leave this to Gilmore for [connection?]>
[TAE Marginalia] Second Fact _
I sold my phonograph patents in the United States to another Co which also went into the promoting business and finally landed into the hands of a public liquidator, this liquidator sold out the patents at a public sale They were bought by parties who subsequently formed the National Phonograph Co _ to work them by merchandising = This Co is doing a very large business and they propose doing business all over the world where they have a right to do so, and they define a right as a country where there are no valid or sustainable patents or where the owners do not litigate them
I have a large interest in this Co, but there are other interests, and I have no means of coercing them, and as to my asking this as a personal favor to forego business opportunities for the Benefit of myself for the Edison Phonograph Works (who make a profit on goods of your Co) in which they have no control requires more nerve than I possess _
Third fact _
The Edison Phonograph Works is the Manufacturing Co a majority of the stock of which I own Control = This Co does not sell to the public, having no patents owing them a right to do so and it has never done so either in this or any other Country = Their The only customers are the National [here?], & your own Co
I hope these this data will correct the evident misunderstanding you labored under when writing the letter
Yours truly
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