[D8835AAX], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, February 3rd, 1888



"I have your favor of February 2nd., with relation to experimental expenses. I do not think there is any object in your providing us with models of anything now that you might get up in the way of Dynamo Machines. If you send us working drawings that will be all that is necessary, and these are not at all to be elaborate. Mr. Kruesi will have every opportunity of seeing your experimental Machine. Inasmuch as we are compelled to keep up a large draughting force employed directly on such matters as making detail working drawings. Moreover if you supply us with models you would necessarilly supply us with a regular working pattern. Now every establishment has different ideas as to the exact construction of their patters with a view to getting the best results in a Foundry. Besides we have got a large pattern shop which is essential in our business, and therefore we should do all our own pattern work as far as possible. Another thing I would point out to you in which we differ entirely from we will say the Lamp Co. A great deal of the material which you will use on any experimental work from us will be supplied direct from our shop. Take for instance the Multiple Dynamo; the shaft, cores, sheet iron, copper wire, and in all probability the Commutator bars will come from here. ### You ask me to look up the cost of our experimental account on Transformer etc. Experimenting of this character costs us but very little, for we use a bed plate, fields, cores, keepers and pillow blocks, which are worth just as much to us after the experiment is over as if it had not taken place. Moreover if we have to throw away the copper wire we allow the account full price for scrap. Our experimental expenses here are very small. The total cost of experimenting at Goerck Street on the present Standard Machines, involving the making of patterns, punches and dies for our Armature discs, and some special tools, did not amount to $10,000 and the total number of Machines which we standardized and made patterns and punches and dies and special tools for, were ten different kinds. ### You cannot possible wipe out entirely our experimental account here. There are lots of little things which it would be absurd for us to send to Orange to be tried because we have all the parts here which are available again for regular Machines, and can do such work here much more economical than it would be possible for you to do it at Orange, because we would either have to send you these parts or else you would have to have them made. ### If you think $250 a week is about right we will start right in and send you a check for this amount. Of course as you say it could be revised at any time if it is found to be too high. You must remember however, that $13,000 a year is a very large amount to add at one lump to our fixed charges. ### I do not want you to think in discussing this matter that I am anxious to get our experimental work done for nothing, or that I am anxious that experimental work should not be done at all. All I desire is that the expenses of this concern should not be brought to such a high point that it is impossible for me to make a good showing. ### I enclose you herewith Check for $250., and will see that a similar check is sent you each Friday. Inasmuch as the month has just started this will practically give you the use of the money a week in advances, because the first week in February does not end until some time next week. This Check has been charged against you in a special account, called 'Thomas A. Edison's Laboratory Experiments'. I mention this so that your bookeepers will not mix it up with your regular account." Very truly yours, Sam Insull








Folder Set



[D8835AAX], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, February 3rd, 1888

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