[D8133ZAJ], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Sherburne Blake Eaton, Thomas Alva Edison, October 22nd, 1881


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


[D8133ZAJ], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Sherburne Blake Eaton, Thomas Alva Edison, October 22nd, 1881

Editor's Notes

It's another EHJ literary masterpiece, 31 pages. Johnson's efforts to secure a location for central station, apparently for what will be Holborn Viaduct; concluded that "the City" was best place to "set up shop." Difficulty in finding a place large enough and prejudice of local people agt noise of machinery; also problems getting permission to erect a chimney for engine. Went to Paris to confer with Pratt of Babcock & Wilcox, during "which time Mr. Fabbri sat in sack cloth & ashes in London and mourned for my return." Gas companies have the exclusive right to lay u/g pipes, so leaves either iso plants or using housetops to run wires. Thus the advantage of Holborn Viaduct: it's apparently a two-level street with one level giving access to cellars, the above giving access to 1st floor. Can thus deliver machinery onf first level. Johnson's views on Paris Electrical Exhibition: generally disappointed in it. Busts on US Electric Co's exhibit as not living up to the hype. Says Lane-Fox had "a small but very effective display." Uses carbons made of broom corn, but of low resistance. Edison display: Batch limited by having only 2 dynamos available; could show only 120 8cp or 60 16cp lamps. Barker "has worked hard & honestly" to convince Exhibition people to give a single grand prize to best exhibitor; other light co's oppose b/c evident wld go to TAE. Welcomes opportunity to have exhibit in England b/c British are willfully ignorant of superiority of Edison's system. British caution Johnson agt attacking Swan on two points: (1) he did use carbon in vacuo b4 TAE; (2) he's vy important in scientific circles. 4 strong competitors in electric lighting in UK: Swan, Siemens, Brush, British. Encloses Faure batty circular; says their people "are moving lively." They want to use TAE lamps for use on RR cars. Also trying to convince Johnson that would be good to use in Edison plants; but Johnson can't see this b/c Faure loses 10% in charging and 15% in discharging; better to use dynamo. London Times is using Swan lamps; hence the tone of its articles abt Paris. Concludes by discussing arrgts for Crystal Palace expo. Also wants price list for dynamos.




Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON