[D0111AAJ], Letter from Pinkerton's National Detective Agency to Thomas Alva Edison, June 5th, 1901


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[D0111AAJ], Letter from Pinkerton's National Detective Agency to Thomas Alva Edison, June 5th, 1901





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


Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,
Llewellyn Park, Orange, N.J.
Dear Sir;-
N.T.B. reports;-
Tuesday, June 4th, 1901
This A.M. I received instructions to go to Steward & Co., rubber stamp manufacturers, #201 Broadway, and ascertain if they have any type, same as used in the letter in question, and to also obtain the names of their agents in Orange and Newark, from whom similar type could be obtained.
Upon arriving at Steward & Co's, I asked for Mr. Steward, but he was not in, and I saw the manager, to whom I showed part of the letter, produced a box which he said was the identical type, and that a single straight and equally spaced, as they would be if a double, treble or four pared it with the lines of the letter, and they were the exact length. I purchased a box of type, a holder and an ink pad.
I asked the manager if he had an agent in Orange, N.J. who kept their rubber stamps in stock, and from whom a similar box of type, holder and ink pad could be purchased, and he said that although they kept them in sock, and they were Henry P. Schmidt, Main Street, Orange and F.D. Lawton, Main Street, Orange, and that they were all in Orange. I asked him who handled their goods in Newark, and he said there were at least a dozen, and he gave me their names as below and said that they were old established concerns, and I could obtain their addresses from the Newark directory. .
P. Borgardis. Grover Bros.
H. Bucklien. F.W. Noble.
Geiger Bros. R.R. Brant.
Carl Kneip Madison & Co.
W.H. Schwitz Co. Mathews Plumb & Co.
Goodsell & Co.
He furthermore told me that each of these firms handled quantities of their goods.
I then returned to the Agency and reported, and was instructed to write a letter with the type, exactly like the letter sent o Mr. Edison. I did so, and they were practically identical. I then proceeded to Orange, N.J. with Asst. Supt. D. and went alone to F.D. Lawton's stationery store on Main Street, showed the type, pad and holder I had purchased from Steward & Co., to Mr. Lawton, and I asked him if he had any like it, and he at once said that he had, and I asked him if he could remember selling an outfit like it, within the past few months, and he said "Yes" about three months ago, or it might be longer, that he had sold a box of type and a two line holder to Professor Shepherd, #470 Main St. That he is a music teacher, and came in again last Friday and purchased a three line holder. That he is wealthy, very erratic, and used to be a choir- master at the 1st Church of Orange. He also said that a lady and a little girl also bought a set some time since, but he could not tell me her name, as he did not know her. That she wanted a child's set, but he did no have them in stock, and he persuaded her to take the other set. She also took a two line holder. Mr. Lawton asked me if I was making these inquiries with reference to he kidnapping, and I said that I was, and he said that he thought that was all settled, and that Detective Dibell had told him that they had traced the matter to Newark.
I then met Asst. Supt D. and accompanied him to Henry F. Schmidt's stationery store on Main Street. There we were informed that some months ago, an outfit had been sold to an insurance agent, and that around April 27th he had returned and asked if he ought not to have received a holder for the type, which he did not receive, and one was ordered for him from Steward & Co., but there was no trace on their order book of the order, and Mr. Schmidt nor his associates could give me any particulars as to the insurance man, and only concluded that he was an insurance man because he mentioned that several others in the office had similar outfits. We then went to Edison's laboratory, and Supt. D. introduced me to Mr. Edison, and explained to he situation to date, and then left and we proceeded to Newark, and to Oltolina's liquor store, corner Bedford and 15th Avenue and Asst. D. interviewed him at considerable length in my presence of his son, and that he placed $300.00 in some place, tell him the particulars. He said he is Bianchi's cousin, his mother and Bianchi's father being brother and sister. Asst. Supt D. questioned him severely and he became badly worked up, but appeared to be speaking truth, and said he was perfectly wiling to make affidavit to what he had said.
Leaving him we returned to New York, and discontinued a 8 P.M.
Yours truly,
Pinkerton's National Detective Agency.
By, Robt A. Pinkerton
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