[D8427ZBF], Memorandum, Edison Electric Light Co, Sherburne Blake Eaton, May 24th, 1884


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[D8427ZBF], Memorandum, Edison Electric Light Co, Sherburne Blake Eaton, May 24th, 1884

Editor's Notes

President's mem. for Executive Committe meeting, Light Company, May 24th. 1884. [/BUSINESS/] CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT. TEMPORARY EXPENSES. On May 15th. Mr. Edison ntified me that he was unable any longer to carry the electrical staff of his Construction Department. He mentioned 6 men in particular, all, he though, indispensable to the business. Their salaries and expenses aggregate about $225 a week. <$250.00> I told him that in order to prevent their discharge by him, the Light Company would temporarily pay the expenses, subject to the future action of the Directors. On May 21st. Mr. Edison asked to have the engineering pay roll of his Construction Department also assumed by the Light Co., 7 men, about $200 a week, pending the ultimate decision of what shall be done with the Construction Department. Shall the Light Co. assume all or any part of these expenses, aggregating about $425 a week, pending the ultiate decision of what shall be done with the Construction Department? CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT. CONTRACTS. About 2 months ago the Thomas A. Edison Construction Department made a written tender to install a central station plant in Dallas, Texas, for $24,796, provided it were accepted within 60 days. The 60 days has now expired, the company has not yet formed, and Mr. Edison is not in condition to extend the time for accepting his tender. The question arises whether the Light Co. will assume the estimate and authorize our agent to proceed with the formation of the company? There are several other towns situated like Dallas, in this regard. Shall the Light Co. assume these contracts, pending the final disposition of the construction business? SOUTH AMERICAN BUSINESS. Mr. Edison asks for authority to make arrangements with such parties as he may solicit, to exploit our business in the various countries of South America, also in Mexico. We have already given Mr. Edison the Argentine Republic and Chili. On July 2nd. 1883, Mr. Edison was given authority to at once install a central station plant at Buenos Ayres. Although 11 months have passed, and this has not yet been accomplished, Mr. Edison is confident that before another Winter, he can start a central station there. On January 26yh. 1884, an arrangement was made with Mr. Edison, for Chili, which was ratified by the Directors, Feb. 16th. He is to pay us cash 25 percentum on the shop price of dynamos, and on village plants 18 per centum on the contract price of the original installation and future increases, all as delivered F.O.B., in New York city. We are also to have a royalty of 10 cents on every lamp, both in isolated and central station lighting. Mr. Edison sent Mr. Stewart to Chili to do business under this contract, and we have thus far received two small isolated orders from him. He expects to do a good business. Shall we make the arrangements with Mr. Edison for other countries in South American and Mexico, as we made in Chili? UNSATISFACTORY INSTALLATIONS OF VILLAGE PLANTS. Several of the village plants installed by the Construction Department are unsatisfactory to the local companies. Mr. Douty, President of the Shamokin company, in a letter dated May 13th. and following up several previous conversations and letters on the matter, formally requests that his plant me made satisfactory and to conform to his contract with Mr. Edison, as Mr. Douty understands it. Several of these companies have made complaints to us, and insist that either Mr. Edison or our Company should make the installations perfect, to conform, as they claim, to the original contract. There are two sides to this question, Mr. Edison being on one and the local companies being on the other. My own opinion is that the installations should be made satisfactory, within reason, but the question arises who shall pay for the necessary changes and additional machinery. What shall be our policy? Shall we accept Mr. Edison's decision as to what constitutes an adequate plant, or shall we accept the decision or our own engineering department, Mr. Clarke for instance, or any other engineer whom we may select. If Mr. Edison's decision is not accepted by the local companies, and if our engineers do not agree with Mr. Edison, who shall pay the expense of the changes and new machinery? Strictly speaking, it is not our duty to stand this loss. As matter of law, there is probably no reason why we should do so. But there are reasons of policy why the local people ought to be given satisfaction




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