[D8630ZBH], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Samuel Insull, June 7th, 1886

Item

Abstract

[4-page handwritten letter from Berlin] I am now waiting here in Berlin for a cable from Edsion. I feel very badly that he does not send a few words, so that the uncertainty can be finished. I received a cable on Saturday stating that there would be a meeting of directors on Monday. ## I am in favor of giving Mr. Villard full powers. He understands the situation here and will work to save something for America. At present the German Co. and the French Co. are drifting apart into an open rupture. The German Co. can [put?] the Frenc Co. to very large expense in keeping up the patents and the French Co. can bother the German Co. in many ways regarding the development of the business. ## The New York Co. can also make great trouble for these Cos. By using its veto power and render negotiations futile. I have telegraphed very fully regarding Villard and I am fully convince that he can same these Cos. From breaking if anyon can, and keep the French Co. Continental from bankruptcy. ## Rathanau says that six months will end all prospects of ever getting anything in America if the German co. breaks with the French Co. breaks with the French Co. ## Villard does not ask for powers but says that he will seek every way to do his best for Edison if he is given them. I am sure that we have never had so fine a chance to have an able man on this side of the water. He will get a lamp royalty fixed for the New York Co. and this will in time prove a very good thing. Unless some such measure is taken nothing will come from Europe to America. Siegel is in Paris and busy in a bank. He has neither the time nor inclination to cary on negotiations. I am too youn and have not the time. Villard sees great things ahead and will give time and attention. He appears to be in good health and it is a pleasure to talk with him his mind is so clear. Then I am so sure that the risk is nothing in comparison to leaving the thing drift as at present. ## Villard feels sure that he can bring the NY Co. $20,000 a year royalty. There will be 1,000,000 lamps sold in Europe yearly before too long. The sales now are about 400,000 yearly. ## I am going to try to get hold of the Frence factory if Edison approves. This will give us a firm hold in Europe and I am sure will be profitable. ## I think regarding Holzer that I would let him alone on the patent question. If he shows no sign of signing over to the Lamp Co. we had better let him go on my return. ## There as some important experiments being made here and great improvements are claimed for the new German lamps. ## The improvements have cost the German Co. very large amounts of money, and are of value to the Lamp Co. There is no doubt that my policy of letting others do some of the experimenting will prove profitable in this case. ## I think that this fall we must change somethings about the lamp and I hope to be able to get hold of the results reached in Germany by that time. ## Your letter May 26th to hand. I feel sure we should have no trouble about money this summer. ## I am exceedingly sorry for Batch. His men are utterly in the wrong. Dyler looks like a Frenchman and sends regards. He suggest two [code works Quick?] -- Why in -- don't you answer Short. Whats the matter with you over there ## [update tc 3/2012] French Co. and German Co. "drifting apart" into an "open rupture." Expresses confidence in giving Villard "full powers" to remedy situation. Villard "will get a lamp royalty fixed for the New York Co. and this will in time prove a very good thing. Unless some such measure is taken nothing will come from Europe to America." Siegel is unavailable for negotiation. Villard "feels he can bring $20,000 a year royalty." Records that lamp sales currently at 400,000 a year [in Europe], projects 1,000,000 sales yearly in near future. Also notes that "this fall we must change something about the lamps, and I hope to be able to get hold of the results reached in Germany by that time."

Recipient

Date

1886-06-07

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

D8630ZBH

Folder Set

D8630

Title

[D8630ZBH], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Samuel Insull, June 7th, 1886

Microfilm ID

79:795

Publisher

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

Timestamp

June 7, 1886