[D8738AAL], Letter from Charles Edward Chinnock to Thomas Alva Edison, November 12th, 1887


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[D8738AAL], Letter from Charles Edward Chinnock to Thomas Alva Edison, November 12th, 1887

Editor's Notes

"I have delayed answering your of the [-]th inst in order to forward you enclosed statement of October business. You will notice by it that we are carning at least $7,000 per month (41 plants closed, 10,400 lamp capacity as against, in 1886, 28 plants of 4,000 lamp capacity) and that in itself should be a sufficient answer to predictions made by any one. Of course you are well aware of the wild and awful prophecies uttered at my course while at Pearl Street. Many of my friends holding their breath waiting for a grand and terrible collapse. ## I have one man travelling in Maine and New Hampshire, another in connecticut and a third one will start Monday morning through Mew York. A synopsis of what they report I will forward you within a day or two. I am in communication with a Mr. Shain of Chicago, employed by the United States Company, and I am quite certain that he is an A 1 man in every respect. It has been reported to me that Mr. Warren owes all his success to this man's endeavor's Of course he is high price but if he is the right man that will not deter my action. Mr. Griffith called on me and I used [-]y boat endeavors to have him cancel his engagement with the Springfield Gas Company but he held off, stating he could not come with us before January. I am in hopes of securing one ot two good men from other Companies, as I believe that men experienced, even at double the salary, are better than green men for immediate results. While we are doing double the business over accomplished before at a large profit, taking our october statement as a criterion, I am still of the opinion that four times than amount should be the rate and the limit to the number of plants that can be sold is governed by the amount of money expended in canvassing for the orders. ## It has been reported to me by several outsiders that the Westinghouse Company are sweeping the West in the Central Station business on the Cash Basis. I am satisfied that a concentrated effort should be made to check this wholesale business on the part of Westinghouse, if reports are true. How would it do to take the "bull by the horns" and give intending purchasers the choice between a fac simile of the Westinghouse converter system and our own and trust to the intelligence of our agents to prove to them the superiority of the Edison apparatus. Messrs. Bermann & Liver have appointed a Committee to consult with myself and try an devise some comprehensive scheme that will cause part of this business to revert to this Company. I certainly would like to be in possession of your ideas concerning this branch of the business. ## Mr. Storn has certainly done very well in Pittsburg and in consideration of this success we have concluded to increase his territory by giving him all of Pennsylvania West of the Alleghenys, and if he will remain true I am quite sure he will accomplish good work in the field allotted him. His specifications are certainly very complete and comprehensive and I have written him to forward me a model according to his ideas and will use this as a sample to forward to our agents. ## After having one or two interviews with parties operating small central stations on the cash basis, I am conveinced that one of the best ways to boom that particular branch of the business would be to make existing small stations thoroughly successful. For instance, a Mr. Marshall, having charge and being the largest stockholder in a small central station in Lanconia, N. H., has just left this office and in that interview he states that he has unlimited power, that gas is selling for $4.50 per M and that he could place 1000 lights (at the present time he has but 300 inoperation) and yet he offers to sell the entire plant to this Company for 25% of what he paid for it, and in addition to that will furnish all power we require, up to 160 h.p., free of charge for three years. It is as much as I can do to refrain from buying this entire plant myself and taking a man on ordinary intelligence, send him on there and prove conclusively that, with a little judgement, at least 20% could be made on the investment. If tlds is a sample of what other small central stations have to put up with, I do not wonder that Westinghouse, or anybody else, are closing orders by the wholesale." Marginalia: "P.S I[----]ged away [--] [---] Reed bi[---] but [-]t[--] too [-------]" Enclosure: D8738AAM.




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