[D8338ZAL], Letter from Arnold Henry White to Thomas Alva Edison, June 15th, 1883



"The present condition of the London Company is precarious, although a posse of doctors are attending the patient..The competiton between the twenty Companies formed for isolated lighting placed electric lighting as an investment in an unhealthy condition." Some are selling lighting at below cost. Recommends getting out of isolated business except "that portion which can never be superseded by central lighting, -- viz. ships -- & concentrate altogether on central business." We also have L30K worth of machinery we can't sell or get rid of. "With regard to central business investors are suspicious & sick." "The condition of the Company is very critical and immediate steps must be taken to galvanize the sick man." Complains about Johnson that "during his eight months in this country, he has not sold a single plant!" Since "we have no Parliamentary right we cannot exact royalties on light or horsepower. If we attempted to do so, there are plenty of folk springing up, who have learned enough from you..to undercut us.." If "we ever get a true monopoly it will be by good & solid engineering work & unerring success--not by patents or lack--at any rate for years to come. The worst of this problem is that the great finance question is always staring one in the face. You really ought to be here yourself to understand it. It seemst to me that friend Johnson is the most un-Yankee like American in money questions I ever met. He seems to take leave of common sense when money is in question." Advises agt compromise with Swan as "equivalent ot saying that you are not the ture inventor." Swan has same attitude. So maybe we just ought to pay Swan royalty of 10cents a lamp and have done with it. More about bad bad Johnson. Concluding sentence: "If you are not annoyed at this yarn I will write again." xxx see if there's a TAE reply; if so poss select that xxx








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[D8338ZAL], Letter from Arnold Henry White to Thomas Alva Edison, June 15th, 1883

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