[D8833AAZ], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Thomas Alva Edison, March 28th, 1888


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


[D8833AAZ], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Thomas Alva Edison, March 28th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Our inspector, Mr. Jackson, has just returned from Newburg. This station is in a very bad way from lack of proper management. The town affords almost as good a field for its size as any in the United States. The price obtained for light is 75 cts per month for 10 C.P. lamps and $1.15 for 16 C.P. lamps. ### The station is run by Mr. Beckman who gives only a small portion of his time to it and who has not as yet mastered the business and does not appreciate the importance of good regulation and proper installation. Mr. Beckman states that he is tired of it and wishes to get out of the business, and is willing to sell his holding which cost him more than $10,000 for $5,000. This holding, together with such other holdings as would be friendly to any party taking hold of the station, would control the Company. ### I think that it would be a very profitable undertaking to take hold of this station, and that in less than a year after taking the holding such a showing of earnings could be made, that any money invested in taking up Mr. Beckman's stock could be realized by a re-sale of the stock, at an advanced figure in the town. ### The station as it is now is paying its way, and made about $1,000 last year upon a capitaliation of $45,000 with a floating debt of $17,000. ### I think that this station should be put upon its feet and I would undertake it, on the part of the Lamp Company--if you consent to this--for the general good of the business. ### This is the only instance where I have felt that it was worth while to take hold of any of the Edison Stations, and I do not know of any other station that I would care to touch, but from all the reports brought to me I feel so certain that there is no risk in taking over this matter, that I am compelled to recommend it. ### Kindly let me hear from you whether you feel that it is worth while to follow up this matter further, and if you consider that it would be a proper thing for the Lamp Company to take up this station were all the conditions favorable toward making such an undertaking a good investment. ### Before I should take hold of the station on the part ofhte Lamp Company, I should make a very earnest endeavor backed up by your willingness to take over the matter, to induce them to bring up their station to a proper working point, and to put in a competent manager, and to run it in such a manner as to make money themselves. ### You will probably remember that this station is a very prominent one in New York State and that it is very easy to visit from all of the larger cities in the State, and it has been for years doing the Edison Company a very great injury from its lack of energy. The Westinghouse Company use this station as a reference showing the lack of earning capacity in the Edison apparatus. Parties interested in the Newburg station, thorugh friendly to the Edison Company do not hesitate to state that their money was badly invested, and they did not receive a proper equivalent for it." [Marginalia: "Upton-I am opposed to Lamp Co going into any outside scheme. But perhaps among us all you might make an outside deal, or wait for Villard's new Co which I think will go through. And see by paper today Newburg Arc Co has busted. E" "Ans Apl 3/88"]




Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



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