[D8849AAX], Letter from Edwin M Fox to Thomas Alva Edison, August 9th, 1888


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[D8849AAX], Letter from Edwin M Fox to Thomas Alva Edison, August 9th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"I am just in receipt of some letters from Mr. Connery from the City of Mexico which contain so flattering a description of the outlook in that country for the phonograph, that at the risk of being deemed importunate, I cannot refrain from acquainting you with the same. ### After charging me with the duty of conveying to you the assurances of his esteem, the [unclear] me to say that he sincerely appreciates the honor and courtesy you have done in favoring his proposition to handle the phonograph in Mexico and Central America and he instructs me to assure you in the most emphatic manner that under such an arrangement your interests will be most zelously and profitably advanced. He says that he already assured of the of the co-operation of the very cream de la cream of Mexican financial and Governmental magnates who with him are max most anxiously awaiting your advices from Col. Gouraud relative to the matter. He states that one heavy commercial house which branches all over Mexico assure him that they will sell at least one thousand phonographs per year and that he feels confident of enlisting the Authorities into such a recognition of the invention that it will eventually become a part and parcel of the Post Office system. He forwards the pleasing news that your works are widely known throughout the Republic and that the Castillians everywhere value you as they do no other American Scientist. ### He appears a little disturbed about my silence as to the patents on the phonograph in Mexico but express himself able to cope with any difficulties and deficiencies that may exist in that quarter, through the aid of Governmental influence. He writes- 'I received a severe shock yesterday by seeing an anouncement that Edison had sold his entire interest in the phonograph for two millions of dollars and I immediately telegraphed you to learn whether it was true. I did not believe it for I know you would not have held out to me the assurances you have.' I immediately wrote him that I understood that you had disposed of your interest in the phonograph for the United States only, but that you and your associate Col. Gouraud still owned the machine for the rest of the world and that you had strongly urged Col. Gouraud to [bottom of letter is cut off] more you could be done until you had received a reply from Col. G., which would doubteless reach here soon. ### From all the information in my possession I [unclear] see no obstacle to a great success in Mexico through Mr. C's instrumentality except the possibility of rivalry on the part of the graphophone people. As I understand the mutuality of interest between you and them does not extend beyond the United States. Is this correct? ### If this is so will they not probably vigorously contest the ground elsewhere? In countries such as Mexico and Central America everything consists on being first in the field and getting in the requisite diplomatic work with the Government. With that done, newcomers stand a slim chance. This is evidently what disturbs Mr. Connery more than anything else. I glean from his letter that the moment I advise him that everything is all right he will take such steps as will effectually choke off any and all attempted that may be made in opposition and then he would wait in patience until you were in readiness to supply instruments. ### I understand from various quarters that Lippincott Co., have already parcelled out large tracks of United States territory and are rapidly furnishing exhibition instruments to their agents. There is one now on exhibition at the Astor House that is creating a deal of interest and is being daily examined by large numbers. I also learn that little Cheever, the man without any legs, who years ago so vigarously espoused the cause of Sawyer when that worthy discovered that he had invents all the Edison inventions, has been granted the right for New York, Kings and five other counties in lower N.Y. embracing the cream of the State. If these things are so, it behaves Col. Gouraud not to lose any time in presenting available foreign places before these people jump in, for they are active and alive. ### Please do not consider me unduly importunate in thus writing. I appreciate that you are necessarily at a standstill until you receive word from Col. Gouraud which will doubtlessly reach you before many days, but I always like to succeed in whatever I undertake and I am particularly anxious to do all I can for my old chief whose earnestness in this matter is most vigorous."





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