[D8239ZEV], Letter from Frank Julian Sprague to Edward Hibberd Johnson, September 21st, 1882


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[D8239ZEV], Letter from Frank Julian Sprague to Edward Hibberd Johnson, September 21st, 1882

Editor's Notes

Just returned from Southhampton and comments upon quietness of Edison Co's business, blames the "supineness and selfishness" of those running the Co for waste of great opportunities. Occasionally goes to old Holborn office and sees "Hammer, occasionally despondent, working away at some estimate, Scott debating the cost of some dozen or less petty fixtures, and Glover perhaps penning some 30 s[hilling] m an's dismissal in order that another may be found for 28. One other is sometimes present--Fleming--but he is at heart thoroughly given to insulite, and spends half his time away from the office attending to it, half the remainder at 74 [Coleman St.] consulting with White about it. He has developed no business capacity whatever, and White instead of staying in the position you delegated him to, that of Secretary, is practically manager, while old Bouverie is more interested in debentures and Egyptian bonds than electric light. But the fault lies with Fleming and White. The latter is more active in defeating any good tender by his damned legal cuteness than he is inadvancing the interests of the Edison Electric Light Co." Co. doing nothing, despite such a promising start. Enumerates missed opportunities for lighting. "Thousands of people want the light, but are met by a dilly-dallying policy which disgusts and maddens them. What the Company wants is an active, competent manager, who can put his foot on White and Fleming to keep them in their place." Swan Co. is pressing ahead, making lamp improvements; TAE can't abate. Saw one of ther new lamps--very good. Theyre making 40cp lamp. Informed they're turning out 15,000 per week.




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