[D8849ADA], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, December 13th, 1888


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[D8849ADA], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, December 13th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Proposed presentation to Sultan. ### On the receipt of your letter of the 30th ult., today I cabled you as follows;- "Turkey with modifications; mail." I do not think that such an expense as you porpose that I should bear will be justifed from a purely business point of view which is the only point of view from which I am asked to consider it. If I were to make such a contribution as that - which would considerably exceed the cost of the Phonographs themeselves - it would be equivalent to my making a present of that amount to the University of Pennsylvania, while it does not appear from Professor Barker's letter that the University would in that case, bear any part of the expense, while the presentation would nevertheless have to be made, in order to be of any service to them, in the joint names of the University and yourself. ### From what you say it appears you are interested in the objects of the expedition and that you would like to assist it in the way idicated and in consequence you generously propose to make a present of the Phnographs. This is all right and in doing so you accomplish two objects- namely, assisting something that you know all about and interests you and which you are anxious to help, and at the same time you get the credit of benefitting the business and whatever good may come - query if any - and which in my mind is very doubtful; in making the handsome present you propose and by the contribution which you suggest that I should make. ### It does not appear from the concluding remarks of Professor Barker's letter that the Univrsity expects to escape without bearing part of the expense and taking that as my cue and saying at once what goes without saying, that I am anxious to fall in with your wishes in every possible way, I have cabled you Turkey with modifications instead of Sultan. Now, these are the modifications with which I propose this Christmas Turkey shall be eaten;-- ### First, I interpose no objection to your making the Sultan & Grand Vizier a present if you wish to do so and if you do so at your own expense, or at the joint expense of the University, the present should be made in the names of yourself and the University, but if I make any contribution to it I think it is only fair that I should have whatever benefit there may be, if any, from being one of the parties to the presentation and if I were to be one of the parties and myself the medium of making the presentation in conjunction obviously with the American Minister, as that would have to be the case, then I might by reason of that personal association with the event, be able to turn it to the "business account", which, from your letter, I see you have considered so far as I am concerned. My being the medium in the form I suggest would moreover be a natural one in view of my relatiosn to yourself and the Phonograph and one from which I could no doubt see my way, somehow or another, to derive some equivalent for my part of the expense. Now as to this expense. I would propose to take Professor Barker at this word in regard to the part of the expense that he should bear (and it is quite right that he should bear part, indeed, from the importance he attaches to the subject he might not have done badly to have borne the whole including the cost of the instruments, however, that is neither here nor there so far as my present suggestion is concerned) and that we should divide in some way the amount. The expense may be made less than would be the case by the plan you propose, by sending the Phonographs to me when you may be sending others, and leaving me to send them to Turkey either by Hamilton or some one of his new numerous assistants (I am utilizing all the Phonographs I have for teaching people so as to make them competent to teach others. I have several here whom I can, on Hamiltons certificate, send anywhere with confience) I should propose that the expenses therefrom resulting should be divided between the University and myself. This would make a sort of triangular business on the lines of Professor Barker's suggestion, in which he would decidedly have the most certain benefit as a result, as, what he wants he cannot get and these presents will enable him to get, while what we want, when we are ready to ask for it, we can get off our own bat. ### Trusting this proposal will in every way prove agreeable to you and to my friend and colleague, Professor Barker (Paris Electrical Exhibition) to whom present y kind regards," Believe me, Yours truly, G.E. Gouraud [Marginalia: "ack ok" "pp Fly"]




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