[D8534I], Letter from Alfred Montamat to Thomas Alva Edison, May 9th, 1885


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[D8534I], Letter from Alfred Montamat to Thomas Alva Edison, May 9th, 1885

Editor's Notes

[Letterhead of Edison Spanish Colonial Light Co] Referring to my last respects of the 18th ult (Doc D8534H), I must now write about the two armatures I ordered from the Edison Machine Works. I received them and the billl, and they charged $300 for each armature. I assume this is a mistake because we have always paid $150 for the same armature. This is not all: on opening the boxes, I found that the two armatures "bear unmistakable marks of having been used, one of them especially, the commutator has been turned on the lathe and about 1/8" taken off." The shafts have been turned and the numbers of the armatures rubbed off. The parties who use your light here are too well ported to be deceived and not being able to use these armatures as new, I cannot pay for them as such. Had I not paid the duties, I wuold prefer to return them, but as it is, I think a reduction should be made to $100 apiece. "I address myself to you directly because I know that these things are done without your knowledge by subordinates who seem to think that anything is good enough for Cuba," but this is a mistake. Workmen here, especially in the plantations, are not as intelligent as those in the U.S. and are very careless. "Most times the Dynamo is worked by an ignorant nigger, the consequence is that armatures don't last here what they ought to and that people complain about it--this is the only weak point in the isolated system." ##I have been told that instead of wires you were now using copper bars in the Z armatures, if that's true we ought to have had the advantage of the improvement. We have only 8 plants running and for the last 5 months I've had 2 men steadily employed repairing armatures.




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