[D8239N], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 29th, 1882


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[D8239N], Letter from Edward Hibberd Johnson to Thomas Alva Edison, January 29th, 1882

Editor's Notes

[16 pgs] Thanks for your several letters, pointing out various corrections in Johnson electrical calculations. You're right in saying I'm getting better understanding of physical laws underlying light, apparently drafted for some sort of report. In Scotland all last week for telephone trial. Got cable from Fabbri that NY parties think Waterhouse & friends should reply; meeting W & Bouverie tomorrow. Spent much time with Wm Thomson; helped him light house with Faure batts and Swan lamps. WT says you're behind Swan, who makes 20cp lamps lasting 1000 hours, gets 10 per electrical HP. WT advises Swan but free to also work with others. Says Swan conscientiously believes in his right to make these lamps, having devised them indepenently. Told him I doubted Swan's absolute honesty, that your method for removing occluded gases was freely published and patented first, etc.; WT much interested in this. Told him we dind't plan to sue Swan or others so long as they're confined to small isolated plants, that they're actually helping us. Discusses WT's high opinion of Swan, etc.; will remain entirely neutral in priority/patent disputes. WT working slowly on his own dynamo; seemed interested by prospect of someday selling it to Edison Co. He agreed to perform thorough tests of your dynamo and make professional report, and will cooperate with me and Bramwell in making full report on the cost question, as per Waterhouse memo. Bramwell and Bouverie in basic agreement on elements of commercial system; high opinion of Bramwell, who was "superb" in telephone battle. Thomson no longer associated with Faure battery. Disappointed not to have WT's full commitment but think have secured "entering wedge"; there's no comparable authority in eyes of English public. Want to give him retainer for future patent battles; already retained Hopkinson and think these 2 could persuade WT to act with them when the crisis comes. Discusses telephone patent trial; C. Cook and Prof. Blythe useless witness for opposing side. United Telephone stock rising on rumor of gov't buyout. Hope your letter to Preece, thanking for ELight lecture, is on the way. Preparing to light Holborn Feby 1; don't know how engine will work with heavy load but was OK with 400-500 lamps. Crystal Palace about ready to light second "gang"; entertainment court will be finest in exhibit; formal opening to be held here. Cabled you ystdy how many A dynamos you shipped; you replied shipped 4 on 11th and 6 on 13th, but I wanted to know how many shipped to ENGLAND FOR ME--think my order mixed up. Heard Gouraud did a good thing for me but can only surmise from Fabbri's cable, "Sold through Duke Australian colonies fifty thousand."




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