[D8243I], Letter from Samuel Insull to Charles Batchelor, September 28th, 1882


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[D8243I], Letter from Samuel Insull to Charles Batchelor, September 28th, 1882

Editor's Notes

[A wondeful snapshop of the Edison business universe in 13 typed pages]. Have been meaning to write for last 6 weeks. Lamp factory: still absorbing money right along; they turn out 800 to 1000 day and lose on everything they sell. Have had much expense moving from Menlo, and in fixing up new place to meet future demands. Upton thinks 1500 lamps daily will break even, 2000 at small profit, 2300 at good profit, assuming re-negotiated contract allowing for sale at 40 cents and 5 cent profit on each lamp, before division with Light Co. Have tried to deal with this contract business with Lowrey but he's broken half dozen appointments. We will also claim from the Light Co $50,000 for experimental work. Lamp works losing $5000 to 7500 monthly, pushing down stock value to equivalent of 50-60,000 lamps. Machine Works: been very busy, your experience will show if the work is good. Making slight profit; TAE took $38,000 out of the biz, 10% credit going to you. Mach Works pays assessments on its Isolated Co. stock in machinery. Expect to complete all orders in 1 or 2 weeks and expect then to ave on hand many 30 K machines, 60-70 L's, and 40 Z's, 5 or 6 central station machines. This should bring c. $140,000 which will give $40,000 profit for division after blancing the books. Things definitely better there; "Mr. Dean seems to give more attention to his business, has most decidly improved, andis not now at loggerheads with everybody as was his wont when he first started in owing to an impression that he used to have that everyone in this world must bow down on their bended knees and worship him." Central station engines: finding engines for the central station machines has been our big quandry. Porter-Allen didn't govern as expected; Armington & Sims FINALLY delivered model for tests. Went to Providence and arranged for Machine Works to build their own, paying royalty to A&S. May have to go back to POrter; difficulty with coupling engine governors. A&S rushing another engine to Goerck St. so 2 can be tested together, throwing load from one to other. Will try to get TAE to send you letter on this subject. Two nights ago tried TAE's device for coupling governors together---perfect success---and now making drawings to send you. Think this will enable central machines to run fine; one machine running Pearl St with "excellent" results, now expect to be able to connect 4-5,000 lights. Light costs Illuminating Co. $6.50 per thousand feet [gas] but only running 1,000 while our Pearl St. staff could easily run 6000; Edison confident economy will be OK. "Johnson is assisting Edison in cutting in customers and immediately gives him the word to connect 4 or 5000 more he will put a large force of men at work and then we shall have probably the Edison boom that we have been so long hoping for." Parent Co.: Parent Co. stock price not great--about $600 --but few shares offered as people holding on in ancitipation of rise when more lights are working. Illuminating Co. stock: no trading. Many shares offerred at par but no takers. Isolated Co. stock: the best Edison stock now; last assessment called now fully paid up. Doing good business; just put in $16-18,000 plant in NY Herald bldg for 600 lights. Bennett had been paying $20K yearly for gas; Elight will probably be $7 or 8K. Have more orders than they can fill; just got contract for lighting new Fall River boat, expect $8,000 profit. Describes "village plant" being installed at Roselle. European Co./Puskas & Bailey. Bailey's been here, overcame prejudice against him. Contract closed for B&P to represent Euro. Co. in Paris. Professor Colombo made good impression and TAE complimented him that he couldn't possibly be an Italian, must be a Down East Yankee. Has high hopes for Milan station under Colombo, to end of Jany. Bergmann & Co; Bergmann made straw purchase of U.S. Electric Co factory--that Co running out of money---got big building, Corliss engine, huge boilers, shaftintg, etc, for $77,000, fraction of cost. Johnson asked Edison to enter formal partnership with him and Bergmann; you will continue your 10% interest in Edison's share of this. Having papers drawn up even tho you said you don't care for having contracts with Edison. Menlo Park: Sending this from 65 5th Ave, where we've moved again, TAE taking 2 year lease at Grammercy Park. TAE has top floor of Bergmann for experimental shop. Looks like he'll never go back to Menlo. Said he need to be close to central station but wouldn't come to city if it weren't for women constatnly bother him to do so. Your accts with TAE: sorry for long delay; will send complete statement soon as possible. Send all future letters to 65 5th Ave.





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