[D8239B], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 6th, 1882


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[D8239B], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 6th, 1882

Editor's Notes

[a 28-page Johnson classic, from London] Enclose copy of Wm Thomson letter (D8239C) in reply to mine. I proposed to go to Glasgow to help compare TAE dynamo with siemens; explained had to have figures in order to justify claims to economy, since we can't compete on price with Siemens and Gramme. This was "bold" move by me since WT told Gouraud he couldn't do this. Will make business arrangement "and shall so interest him in the work that he will be insensibly carried from one stage to another until he will find himself eventually wholly committed to the Edison system." WT winding armatures with silk thread; thinks problem with bar armatures is destruction by centrifugal force. I agree; saw destruction of engine in Paris at close hand. Think you should make big bar dynamo for Crystal Palace; would also like to show Thomson. Expect will be able to see Swan lamps in Glawgow. Savoy Theater lighted by Swan lamps (non-uniform) but they'vve sneaked some gas jets at back of stage; get hold of D'Oyly-Carte while he's in US. Holborn nearly all ready but won't put on current for display until other dynamo arrives. Cabled you today for its status. Just got City contract arranged and started putting conductors in subway and connecting shops. Visited by insurers of shops; send you clipping of my article on safety of ELight. Send me copies of your circular to Fire Underwriters proposing standards. Sending you copies of Preece's lecture. Nearly ready to start 1 gang (of 3) of Crystal Palace plant to light concert room with 210 lights; designed special chandelier. Discusses Crystal Palace. Ran dynamo with Sterne gas engine; displayed to Prince of Wales. Faure battery people exhibiting lamps (but running dynamo with gas engine!) Would like to be able to guarantee (average) lifetime of lamps, esp for isolated plants; what do you say? Carbon telephone patent v. microphone trial on 24th in Edinburgh; self, Thompson, Tyndall, Jenkin, et. al. testify your behalf. Part of contest is whether you had in mind at time of pat the phonograph as reproducer or merely recorder. Cabled you for date of mfg of 1st phonograph, also to send all my early lectures predicting you'd make talking machine. You should send nice letter to Preece; need to cultivate good feeling. Discusses (p. 20) TAE's popular reputation in England; "the incandescent lamp is universally recognized as yours." Various companies united behind Parliamentary bill delegating to local boroughs authority (to grant concessions?). It is objected that without an organization we don't have standing to join this petition; shall we organize? [a company?] Cabled for your opinion. Discusses ELight pats; Bidwell making exhaustive report; may ask Webster for opinion of Patent N0. 5 [not sure what this is about]. "Uphill work" to convince lawyers of validity of our pats; one argument holds ALL electric light pats invalid. We are bound to face unprecedented opposition at every turn in the courts. Discusses what is apparently offer to sell patents for 25,000, which thinks should be 50,000, to old telephone co. investors. Don't know what to advise but "I am doing and saying whatever occurs to me to prepare their minds forrejection of their propositions." Patents: "The man Hanford who constituted the brains of John Henry Johnson's establishment has dissolved partnership with that concern and is about to set up for himself. A more thorough and painstaking man it would be impossible to find." Waterhouse, Gouraud, I agree he's the best to take charge your patents. Webster would prepare them as far as able, then transmit to Handford to get ready for filing. More to follow(!!) when stenographer catches up to me. 36 years old today, dated JAN 4 1882.




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