[D8850ADG1], Letter from Hugh De Coursey Hamilton to Thomas Alva Edison, September 16th, 1888


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[D8850ADG1], Letter from Hugh De Coursey Hamilton to Thomas Alva Edison, September 16th, 1888

Editor's Notes

[5 handwritten pages suggestions] "Knowing that Mr. Gilliland has already written you in relation to the Phonograph, I still feel I may be of some service in pointing out details that have come to notice for my so constant use of the instrument lately, + I take this opportunity of speaking of them. ### Seemingly, first in importance is the governor, which made after the model. Mr. Gilliland brought does not operate delicately enough to obtain a sustained note. I have bettered it some + at the same time cut down the sparking considerably by putting a shunt round the brushes. By use, the belt connecting the governor stretches + there are no means of taking up the slack except one cuts + rejoins it, where all the belts are quite tight, giving more work, the drum revolves much more uniformily. ### I have put a stop on the governor index wheel so that it is impossible for the balls to fly out too far + hang themselves to pieces against the frame work. ### All the pulley wheels, whether from wax, oil, had leather or what, become very speedily gummed up, thus [small drawing inserted] + are difficult to get at to clear. ### I believe + hope, especially for the exhibitional instruments, you will adopt a quicker + more easy way of fastening the arm holding the back centre for the cylinder shaft than the present screw [second drawing inserted] which takes time that is valuable when showing off to a constant stream of people, half a dozen at a time. If the tubes are not lengthened it does not diminish the loudness by increasing the capacity for listening at the same time, so that in exhibiting the Phonograph I allow six at once to hear as distinctly at through only one was listening. I get cleaner reproductions from Phonogram Blanks that cast arrived than from those I sent over the caller having had more time to dry + become brittle. The mailing blanks are difficult to use on the thinner end, they don't fit the rubber shell tightly + there is so little wax on there that after before getting them turned true the knife is scraping the paper in places. Those containing here-wax do not crack from contraction. ### In sending exhibitional record would you please order them made all at as near as possible the same revolutions. Our machine will not run less share 100 per minute + governs better where making about 150. ### Am using the Schanshieff Battery, three cells 1.40 volts earch, with great satisfaction the whole thing enclosed in a cube of seven inches gives current for fourteen hours work. It is clear [unclear, leave for editors] have been able by the hour to take off + put on record after record without touching the top adjusting screw for throwing the needle into the groove. This I find is only when the repeating needle has a little free play or movement sideways at its [unclear] or shaft, a good thing I believe. ### Am looking forward with great anticipation for the new instruments + feel sure that in many particulars the above will not apply to there. ### In exhibiting the instrument we allow only that number in the room who can listen at one time, upon the principal. Better show it satisfactorily to 500 than only partly so, to a thousand people."




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