[D8831ACE], Report from William Dennis Marks to Edison Electric Light Co of Philadelphia, November 20th, 1888


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[D8831ACE], Report from William Dennis Marks to Edison Electric Light Co of Philadelphia, November 20th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I beg to report to you as follows:-- ### The well mentioned to you in my last report is now at 36 ft. depth pumpting 31,000 gallons of water per hour. The second hand boiler which I bought to pump with requires patching to do heavier duty before going further. As soon as this is done the required 50 ft. depth can be reached in a few days, thus securing to a certainty over the 40,000 gallons of water required per hour. ### I have deemed it a necessary precaution to order a second blast fan, although each fan is run by two independent engines. ### I am advised by Mr. Kreusi of the Edison Machine works that the first dynamo for this station will be tested for me this week, I shall be there. ### Four bad boxes for engines are now being placed, one complete engine is now being erected. The steam piping and fittings and water piping are all ordered and coming or on the ground. The betls are all, ordered and waiting. The boilers are now being erected by a large gang of men. ### At a meeting held at Edison's Laboratory Nov. 15th he gave it as his opinion that our station when compared with previously contemplated stations would produce "say 33 per cent more out put than New York for same investment and an economy of coal of say 25 per cent" greater, adding that the New York Stations are more conveninetly arranged for employees. Adopting a kindly suggestion of Mr. Edison, I have placed all of the dynamos under the control of one man on a gallery at the north end of the building and have thus obviated the only criticism he made, as it is my duty to inform you of the opinion of those best qualified to judge, I may be pardoned for mentioning this discussion and its result. ### Mr. Wm. Bryant offers to track store and deliver our coal on scale for 50 cts. Per ton, furnishing everything and haulting from 10th and Washington Ave. to Station. Or the Edison Co. furnishing the wagons only to do the same work at 45 cts. Per ton, also to take away ashes at 50 cts. Per coal cart load. ### As we require a special form of body to dump through scales, large wagons to avoid the annoyance of crossing the pavement on 9th with a constant stream of small 1 ton coal carts, I have ordered of Fulton & Walker two wagons of 6,000 lbs. capacity each at $405. each. They will soon save their cost. ### I have asked for and received bids for coal as follows:-- ### Jas. Boyd & Co. Penna R.R. coals. From the mines of the Mineral R.R. and Mining Co. on any designated aiding for one year-- White Ash Pea Coal $2.15 per gross ton. ### " " Buckwheat Coal $1.90 " " " ### Buckwheat used by Harrison, Frazar & Co. and Pea by Traction Co. ### H. Gawthorp & Co. offer coal as follows:-- ### Pea Coal $2.40 per gross ton ### Buckwheat Coal $1,90 per gross ton delivered on track at 10th and Washington Ave. ### Ayers & Bro. William Penn Colliery ### #2 Pea Coal $2.15 per gross ton ### # 2 Buckwheat Coal $1.90 " " " delivered on any siding by rail. Delivered at any wharf 15 cts. Per ton less. ### Geo. B. Newton & Co. ### "Prospect" Pea Coal $3.80 per gross ton delivered at Station ### Another " " $3.10 " " " " " " ### This amounts to $3.35 for Prospect Pea Coal on siding and the other Pea Coal $2.65 if hauled by our selves or Wm. Bryant. Say they are supplying most of the Electric Light Co.'s in the City to their satisfaction. ### Assuming all of these coals to have equal steam making power, the bid of Jas. Boyd & Co. would appear to be most favorable as giving us-- ### Pea Coal at Station $2.60 per gross ton ### Buckwheat Coal at Station $2.25 " " " ### as against other Stations buying of G. B. Newton & Co. "Prospect" Pea Coal $3.80. ### Our force blast fans will enable us to burn any sort of coal and as all our coal is weighed in, ashes weighed out and water measured into Boilers we can tell practically from month to month what the coal is worth to us as a steam producer. It may be, however, that there are other parties who would make more favorable bids. If this is not the case I woud request your approval of an arrangement with wm. Bryant to handle our coal at 45 cts. Per ton and with Jas. Boyd & Co. for Buckwheat Coal at $1.90 per gross ton before taking any further steps. ### On Nov. 13th Mayor Fitler issued an order imperatively stopping all work on the Streets. Visigint him the same day I procured permission to continue work on permits already granted, but he refused to allow the issue of any furthe rpermits to open the streets until he was staisfied that the Penn Co. had completely repaired all paiving over its work. He rpersonally requested me to make a survey of our District and to satisfy myself of their wretched condition and to report to him. I plead that I had no power to compel the Penn Co. to met his wishes althought I could not deny the correctness of his cricism and finally was convined that unresrved acquiessence to his demands was our only safe policy. The right of the Penn Co. to the streets of Phila. Is of immense and constantly increasing value to us, and must not be forfeited as it surely will be by repeal of permission to work under its charter if the Co. does not literally fulfill every obligation and observe the laws govening this City. ### Fortunately my report to the Mayor had the result of compelling action and with me Mr. R. H. C. Hill visited the Mayor and in person promised prompt and full compliance with his requests, the Director, Gen'l Wagner openly avows his hostility to Electric Light Companies because of an assumed loss from them resulting to the City Gas Works, and omits no opportunity to embarrass and delay us. I will not weary you with the history of my struggles with the intertness of the present management of the Penn Co., suffice it to say that after reapted interviews and as many fair promises from month to month of the past summer to get permission to open Chestnut Street from 3rd to 5th st. I at last requested a petition of people residing on the street, went personally to the Penn Co.'s Office, saw the petition put inot the Board of Highway Supervisors and a Committee appointed which under the objections of Wagner refuses to act in the matter, although they know tha tDec. 1st closes the year for street work and that our men are lying idel. ### The most strenuous efforts on the part of Messrs Huey, Little and Dolan have proved unavailing with the Mayor in enabling us to utilize our short remaining time. IN behalf of this Co. I have uniformly assured him of my desire to give instant attention to his commands but he says that he can not distinguish between the Penn Co. and us in his official capacity. ### They Mayor said to Mr. Dolan Sunday afternoon "Promises have been so often biolated that he is not willing to grant any more privileges until the department inspectors report to him that the condition of the streets complained of is satisfactory". ### Director Wagner sends me the following letter from Chief McDonald with one from himself-- ### (COPY) ### Phila. Nov. 17th 1888. ### General Louis Wagner, ### Director, Department of Public Works. ### Dear Sir:-- ### Herewith please find detailed report of the present condition of th streets in which conduits have been laid by the Penn and Eison Electric Light Co.'s. ### Asst. Com. Gilligan reports that from personal observation and information obtained, they have not been generally in the habit of conforming to the regulations prescribed by the City; he finds they have been digging up more of the streets than their permits allowed, 500 ft. and also that they have been tunnelling under the crossings, concerning which they have been notified and personally spoken to. They should tear out the crossing stones and thoroughly ram, as in other places. Our experience is that they invariably go down if not so done. Some have been done in this manner, other they have neglected to do. ### As to the mechanical work of laying the conduits, the Asst. Commissioner reports that he is not very well versed in it. ### Yours truly, ### (Signed) Joseph McDonald, Chief, Bureau of Highways. ### ### Louis Wagner. Director Departmento f Public Works, Bureau, Highways. Office W.S. Cor. Fifthe & Chestnut Sts. ### Subject, Repairs over underground conduits. ### Phila. Nov. 19th 1888. ### Prof. William D. Marks, 108 South Fourth St. Phila. ### Dear Sir:- ### Enclosed find a copy of the Chief of the Bureau of High ways upon the conditio of the streets under which your Company, and the Penn Company have laid conduits. ### His Honor. The Mayor directs me to say that no permits for further work will be issued until a report is received from the same Bureau that all these necessary repairs have been made and the streets placed in a good condition. ### Yours truly, ### (Signed) Louis Wagner, Director. ### Enclosure. ### I find on careful inspection that none of the work reported by the City Inspector is chargeable to us, but comes under the head of ordinary repairs which Mr. Hill pomises shall be completed in 4 days. I note also that a great deal of the defective work is where an Edison tube has never been laid and is outside of our district entirely. ### As our machinery is now about to go in, and a pinch of sand or emery in the hands of a malicious person may ruin a valuable machine, I shall shortly, with your concurence institute the strictest possible police regulations in the Station. I mention this that you may know my reasons for so doing." I am, Very respectfully and truly yours, Wm. D. Marks




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