[D8337ZGH], Letter from William Joseph Hammer to Thomas Alva Edison, November 9th, 1883


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[D8337ZGH], Letter from William Joseph Hammer to Thomas Alva Edison, November 9th, 1883

Editor's Notes

[would be nice to fix approx date for this--interesting TAE marg about thinking in amps, and German labor.] [from Berlin] Hired Mr. Reidl for meter dept, says he was head of NY meter dept. Rehearses correspondence about incomplete order for meters & shunts from Bergmann. Will test central station for two clubs this week; working on 3-party installation using Otto gas engines; governor designed by Rathenau gives pefect steadiness, will let us take on much business. Got H & T machines; ordered several of each from Siemens & Halske; S&H had to disassemble them because you didn't send drawings. Tested H machine at max capy; ran hot but seemed OK but then found armature wires twisted by centrifugal force and carbonized by current; think it was partially carbonized in NY. [TAE marg: "The machine is tested for 400 ampers 500 light mean nothing supposing they were 50 cp lights please talk amperes. [---] gave Batchelor the carrying power in amperes. Since you [had?] model H we have reduced resistance of armature by using larger wire. Think [---] it up so it runs cool with 400 amperes."] Have completely rewound and will test. Lack of drawings for small machines means more delays. Are you making motors? what power? [tae marg: "we can send models of 1/4 hp & 1 smaller size for sewing machine."] Arranging for large lamp factory here. As I wrote Upton, "you people in America do not understand the lamp question here in Germany. Were it not for several reasons we should buy every lamp from you or the French Co but the objections are these. First, the German patent law demands that at least the greater portion of a patented article be manufactured in the country. Secondly, the sentiment in Germany is perhaps stronger than in any other country on the subject of employing native labor..[TAE marg: "95 pct of our people here are German"] Third," S&H have small factory but when our agreement with them expires it may be large & well-organized. Rcd first installment of our 35,000 lamp order. Glad to have Upton's letter of success of the "Town plant and three wire system"; please send info with cost estimates. Saw in newspaper that you're getting up second portion of NY central station and using 3-wire system-for new district only, or re-doing first dist? [TAE marg: "No- We have [---] system over entire area. The new uptown station is to be 3 wire."] Rathenau says we've been harassed by delay in receipt of models because constant changes in S&H and Schuckert dynamos gives them the business we should be doing; also, we're forced to look to Hopkinson, who's making slow-speed and compound machines. Still negotiating concession for Berlin underground conductors. Just finished lighting 2 cafes; got order for third. [TAE marg: "Explain to Hammer how we do our biz so as not to get stuck on machines. The H machine was tested with heavy load-also understand that the machines are tested with 400 amperes of course if you put on 500 lamps of .92 amper it would strain the machine. It should have been tested with .75 amper lamps. Our later H machines are wound with larger wires, ie few large wires in each section instead number of small wires this gives [--------illeg--]."
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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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