[D8704ACM], Letter from Arthur Coyle Payne to Thomas Alva Edison, September 3rd, 1887


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[D8704ACM], Letter from Arthur Coyle Payne to Thomas Alva Edison, September 3rd, 1887

Editor's Notes

[Letterhead: The Edison Lamp Co.] Arrived here [Aguas Calientes, Mexico] safely except the Benzol, which was stopped by customs officials who would not allow it to be shipped via R.R. until the engineers strike is settled. "The order was positive against all explosives--Benzine, naptha, gunpowder, &c." Left it in care of Wells Fargo to forward as soon a possible [Gives duties for shipping per kilo]; wrote Waters-Pierce Oil Co. of Mexico, which likely can provide benzine & oil cheaper.###Have found variety of Agave, known as Lechugilla, which contains coarse, hard, dense fiber strongly resembling my sample; said to be abundant all along the Sierras; have been out to the mountains and obtained a supply for experiment; will send you 25 lbs of leaves as soon as the trains are running regularly; we can see if they can be shipped in condition to allow the fibers to be extracted in the factory; sending by mail a sample of rope natives make from these fibers; lack of facilities for extracting fibers will cause delay and all I've got is kerosene to use; examined many specimens of maguey--all contain a fine, soft, nearly flat fiber. As near as can be ascertained by enquiry the Lechugilla is the only species that contains the course, dense fiber.###There are no gums, fossil or resinous in this part of the country, all are south of Mexico City in heavily wooded, volcanic regions and along the coast; an American mine owner, seven years' resident and reliable, is willing to make a contract to funish 1000 lbs. of rubber-gum monthly or in less quantity as often as we wish. Would like your ideas on the subject. Same man says there is a large deposit of unused asphalt in California near the line of the South Pacific R.R.; could possibly be had "at your own figures;" if of sufficient importance, will you write owner or I will return that way and make arrangements as you like.###Going to Pinos to look at fiber there & will collect sample of rich "Failings" of the Candelero and Angostura mines said to be worth $25-$75 per ton in silver and flour-gold. Will send sample; if ore separator will work it, lots of money can be made.###Heard of process to redeem gold & silver from failings patented by Mark Birmingham of Chien [?], Colo; Las Herrera in successful operation in Manhattan, Colo. and large mine in Arizona; [gives detailed description on the process of ore extraction using mercury]; do you want me to go further south to look for gums, resins, &c?





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