[D8835ADD], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, June 19th, 1888


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[D8835ADD], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, June 19th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I beg to draw your attention to a copy of a telegram which I have just received from Mr. Frazar as follows:- ### 'Yokohama cables Edison's Japanese Iwadare has contracted Westinghouse plant for Osaka, Japan; when you are next in New York call in my office; Iwadare represents new opposition Japanese Company'. ### Iwadare, the Japanese in question, is the man who has been working for the Machine Works for three years. Several months ago we got him a position with the Rochestor Co. to give him an opportunity to learn the Central Station business. He left Rochester stating that he was sick, and another Japanese whom we had here, and whom you sent us to give a position, left here soon afterwards, stating that he was going to New York to nurse Iwadare. He was never returned. ### The action of Iwadare clearly shows that Mr. Frazar has been right in his statements that it would be fatal to our business to give the Japanese work in our shops. The one that has been treated better than anybody else, who has had every opportunity to learn our business, and who in fact has received that education which you stated would make the Japanese strong Edison friends, makes a deal with Westinghouse almost before he has left our employ. ### Of course we will not take another Japanese in our establishment, but the trouble is we are 'shutting the stable door after the horse has got out'. I would urge you very strongly to discharge the man you now have at Llewellyn Park. You may not think he is getting any information, but you can rest assured he is getting information kind of a boy, but from information which Mr. Frazar obtained when Prof. Fusioko was here, it clearly showed that Iwadare was getting all the information he possibly could and transmitting it to his friends in Japan. I took no notice of Mr. Frazar's frequent requests that we should discharge all Japanese in our employ. I fear I have made a mistake in not listening to his appeal in the matter, and I am confident that you will make a very great mistake unless you take the same course that I am taking, namely, not allowing any Orientals in the establishment." Yours very truly, Sam Insull [Marginalia: "Ans June 20/88"]








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