[D0326AAD], Letter from William Edgar Gilmore to Thomas Alva Edison, March 2nd, 1903


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[D0326AAD], Letter from William Edgar Gilmore to Thomas Alva Edison, March 2nd, 1903




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


Letterhead of National Phonograph Co.
Edison Laboratory,
Orange, N. J.
Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,
Myers, Fla.
Dear Mr. Edison:
I understand that Mr. Loveman has sent you a very full and complete report on the patents granted to Higham. From all I have been able to learn, there would appear to be a doubt as to whether these patents could be sustained should a strong fight be put up against them, but I would like to have your opinion on it so as to decide what course to pursue.
Up to this writing I have not heard from Moran or Higham, or in fact any of the companies which they claim to have gotten up, regarding the proposed arrangement, and I assume that they have dropped it.
If the patents are flimsy, I we do not want to pay any $30,000 for them, and if what Loveman indicates in his report is so, I do not see but that we could take up and manufacture the article, and we could doubtless knock the patents out at a very much less sum than that above mentioned. If the patents are not what you expected and you consider that the offer made them is too high, then we should immediately wire and write them that the offers heretofore made relative to the purchase of same are withdrawn absolutely. If you agree with me as to this, I wish you would send me a telegram immediately, as I would like to fix the matter up before I go away, which I hope will be about the 10th of March. The only thing I am afraid of now is, that I will get a subpoena in the New York Phonograph case, and in that event, of course, I shall have to remain here until they get through with me. They finished with Randolph's and John R. Hardin's testimony Friday last, and I understand that Mr. J. Adriance Bush goes on the stand Tuesday, March 3rd; then I understand that I am the next one to be interrogated on the general subject.
I met Mr. John W. Griggs on Friday last. I am very much pleased with his looks and feel satisfied that he can make a very, very forcible argument when the proper time comes. I sent him a check for $500.00 as a retainer and feel satisfied that the will give us good service; but of course we will know more about this later on.
I had my first letter from White this afternoon. He seems to be firmly convinced that we ought to open a storehouse in London and offer our goods through the National Phonograph Co., Lt., organized there. I cannot see how we can do this at the present time. We are simply overloaded with orders and cannot take care of our present business, and to open another department in London at this time is out of the question.
We must arrange to increase our capacity immediately, and I am pushing this just as rapidly as possible. However, I think that White had better consider the matter a little further, and I do not consider it wise to go off "half cocked" on an important proposition of this kind.
For the present we can make shipments direct to London, as we have been doing, and rather than open an expensive establishment there it will be far better for us to pay the freight to London than to attempt to carry a stock in London under present conditions. I hope you will agree with me as to this. Eventually we will have to have a London house, of course. In the meantime, there is a legal question, about which Hayes seems to be a little doubtful. Of course I shall not do anything until he is thoroughly convinced that we can do so without introducing any complications, legally or otherwise.
Yours very truly,
W. E. Gilmore
P. S. Do not forget to wire me about the Higham matter immediately.
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