[D8750AAU], Letter from Ezra Torrance Gilliland to Thomas Alva Edison, December 16th, 1887


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[D8750AAU], Letter from Ezra Torrance Gilliland to Thomas Alva Edison, December 16th, 1887

Editor's Notes

"I must say to you that I am awfully disappointed in the message which Toppan brought to me the other day. Whatever harm has been done, has been done, as the instrument which I referred to has been completed in all its details and the model partly finished; and I want to assure you that in doing this I have in no way neglected or delayed the work in the Factory. I am out of my house early in the morning, making a short call at the office, spending all the balance of the day in the Factory, and attending to all of my correspondence at night. The work of designing this Machine has been done between the time the Stenographer leaves at night annd my bed time. ## This is the first opportunity I have had to do any work of this kind. If the Machine is better than others I should think you would want it. If any of your workmen should produce a superior Machine, you would not hesitate to adopt it. Surely, I must be entitled to the same consideration. The present form of Machine that we are at work upon in Bloomfield, would not compare favorably in any respect with the Graphophone, and I have never felt that you would put it upon the market in that condition. certainly, we are capable of producing a Machine superior to the Graphophone, and knowing you as well as I do, I felt perfectly sure that you would never allow the Machine to go out if it was not equal to the Graphophone; and I believed that you would leave nothing undone in order to produce something superior, and it was with the desire to do my part toward bringing about this end that I have worked out a Machine that is not only equal to all of the claims made for the Graphophone, but superior, inasmuch, as it provide for several important points which they do not claim to cover. ## It works upon correct mechanical principles. ## Looks well in its general appearances. ## Makes a record with 144 threads to the inch. ## Provides for repeating sentences by one movement of a conveniently located key. lever ## Takes duplicate copies. ## By simply depressing a key it will wipe out any sentence which is desired to be taken out. ## Provides for stopping when parties hesitate in dictating, or when copists are reproducing. ## Is adapted to be run by any form of Motor. ## Is a hand machine at all times. ## This is all accomplished without complicated mechanism or multiplicity of parts. It is not simply invented but is worked out for manufacturing to advantage. This has only been accomplished by careful work. ## Toppan says you particularly dwelt upon the point, that no man could invent and do business a the same time. ## I want to say that I started a new Factory, invented and worked out for manufacture, Megneto Bells, Switch Boards and other Telephonic apparatus; travelled and solicited orders; had no assistance but hired help and made $55,000.00 for my Company the first year. And as a guarantee that the inventing and manufacturing was well done, they have never been changed in the slightest particulars in 8 years, and are universally used in this Country and Five Countries in Europe. ## [Remainder of letter is handwritten] Time is the all important thing now and if I have said or done anything to displease you it has been due to my over anxiety to do the most and best I can for you."






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