[D8630ZBI], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Thomas Alva Edison, June 7th, 1886


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[D8630ZBI], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Thomas Alva Edison, June 7th, 1886

Editor's Notes

[4-page handwritten from Berlin; suggest ancer c/o Phil Dyer, Antwerp] Since writing you I have again seen Mr. Villard. He says that large bankers are willing to put capital into central stations if the various interests can be combined. I telegraphed you to that effect. He also expects to be able to raise money for helping stations in America if he can bring harmony here. He states very strongly that he will do his best to bring the New York European Co. a fixed royalty and a mininum amount guaranteed. He is largely interest in the American Edison Light Co. and says that he will help that Co. very materially if he can make the Electric Light strong financially here. He is very friendly toward you and I am fully pursuaded that it is for all our interests to trust him. Unless some entirely new departure is made there is a very great chance that by the failure of the French Co. nobody will get anything in America. Dyer says that Rau swore last winter that the American Co. would never get one cent from the Paris Cos. ## Nothing has been said directly with Mr. Villard about compensation. He sees money in the after results and promises to do his best for you and take his chances. He did not suggest having the powers, but I felt that iw as the best chance that had ever been offered us and asked him if he would take them. He said he would and would do all he could to bring the New York Co. a handsome income. There is another reason for trying to make workable arrangements here. If the Edison Cos. Break [?] Central Staion Lighting will be done by outsiders, and your name will be left out and the light will be known as Swan's Siemens' &c light. ##The Central Station successess in the U.S. will help materially here. ## I have telegraphed and written strongly as I feel that the present is a very critical time and that these companies must be brought to see that they are losing money by bickering. The present chances are that you and the European Co. will get nothing if the matter drifts along as it has for the past two years. With Villard it looks as if a large and sure income can be obtained. ## I feel much better for another than myself to have powers. I want to get a slice for the Lamp Co. and ame going to try to get hold of the French Lamp Factory. This will give us a stand in Europe and will allow us to avail ourselves of cheap labor and enlarge our market. If you can find out how the German Co. treat their carbons to improve them so much it will make our position very strong in the negotiations, if the arrangements take so much time to complete that this can be done. ## I do not think that they do much more than place the carbons in a heated hydrocarbon vapor, but you are a much better judge than I am knowing that they do something with a furnace after the carbons are made [update tc 3/2012] Villard believes bankers are willing to invest capital into central stations if "the various interests can be combined." Villard believes he can bring capital to New York IF he can "bring harmony" to European situation. Villard "very friendly" to tAE; you should "trust" him. Says he has offered Villard powers and Villard has accecpted. Upton sees situation as "critical" but believes that under Villard "large income" can be "attained." Wants to "get hold" of "French Lamp Factory," which will establish base in Europe and make "cheap labor" available.




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