[D8704ABW], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., August 13th, 1887


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D8704ABW], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., August 13th, 1887

Editor's Notes

[highly selectable] I'm building a laboratory and factory on the Valley Roads to consist of one building 50x250, 3 stories, and 4 buildings 25x100, one story. "It will be equipped with every modern appliance for cheap and rapid experimenting, and I expect to turn out a vast number of useful inventions and appliances in industry"; I propose building a factory to manufacture items that can be sold through jobbers and make a large profit.###Would Boston parties invest in such a factory, with 51 percent of stock paid to me and 49 sold at par? It might seem I'm too generous but some small inventions will yield thousands in profit with very little manufacturing cost; company will have right to refuse to manufacture inventions it deems unprofitable; lab will turn out inventions ready to market with patterns and models ready to be manufactured; want to start small at first--$20,000 for buildings and land, $15,000 for machinery to make things already invented; "In time I think it would grow into a great industrial work with thousands of men; I already have 1300 employed; works at Schenectady, of which I own 75 percent, employ 900 men and turn out $1.5 mil per year and earn 15 percent on cost of labor, material, and general expenses; "I am proud of those works, and I believe them to be the finest in the country . . . I do not manage shops myself as I am incompetent for that class of work, but I do know how to select the right kind of men to do it for me." I also own 57 percent of Lamp Factory, which I built up; pays 12 percent and has surplus; pays all experiment costs; I expended $21,000 on new lamp and appliances to make it; I also build Bergmann & Co. and own 13 of capital $750,000; did pay 20 percent on $300,000 but now pays 8 percent on $750,000. Our works have over $1 mil. of work on the books but it has taken all my money so I can't build new works myself; "My ambition is to build up gradually and surely great Industrial Works in the Orange Valley. With my laboratory and skilled men as the creator of highly profitable specialties, but not big cumbersome things like a system of Electric Lighting. Now Mr. G what do you think, would people invest in it?"




Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON