[D8905AAU], Letter from Everett Frazar to Thomas Alva Edison, February 2nd, 1889


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[D8905AAU], Letter from Everett Frazar to Thomas Alva Edison, February 2nd, 1889

Editor's Notes

I have lately received from Yokohama letters dated Jan. 7th, advising receipt of my cable of the 1st ulto. Requesting that the Edison Phonograph be advertised in the Japanese papers, with instruments and expert to arrive out early in Feb. Enclosed I hand you copy of notice put in the foreign and native Japanese papers. Frazar & Co., send me enclosed copy of "Japan Gazette," dated Yokohama Jan. 5th, containing interesting article on the Edison Phonograph for your perusal. They write: "We have, in anticipation of any special concessionswhich we understand the Graphophone agent is trying to secure from the Government, advised the U.S Minister of the superiority of the Phonograph and at the same time made inquiry if, under the new patent regulations, protection can be secured by foreigners. On the 2nd inst. We wired you recommending seeing Mr. Mutsu, Jap. Minister at Washington, and securing from him letters of introduction, i.e phonograms, to prominent Jap. Officials, as similar letters were given to the agent of the Graphophone. Mr. Austin Herr (not Herv) agent for the Graphophone here has placed samples of his instruments in the U.S Legation Tokio and in the Consulate, Yokohama and has now left for Kobe, Osaka &c.. Among foreigners who have heard the GRAPHOPHONE, the impression is that that instrument cannot prove of great commercial value in Japan. We trust, however, that when the Edison Phonograph arrives, it will be found to be a much superior instrument to the Graphophone. (As previously mentioned, the Graphophone on exhibition in Japan is worked by foot only and this will be objectionable as compared to the running of the Edison Phonograph with an elec. Battery). Frazar & Co., Yoko., also add: "In the "Sceintific American" of July 14th last the Tainter Graphophone is illustrated and described. This is the instrument here which has been brought out by Mr. herr. The samples we have seen at the Consulate and Legation do not bear the name of maker or patentee, but the box containing the record cylinders has the following: Record Cylinders Am. Graphophone: Washington D.C patent May 4th 86 No. 341, 288, patent Nov. 29th, '87 No. 374, 133." On Jan 2nd, '89 my firm addressed the U.S Minister at Tokio, Hon. R.B Hubbard as follows: "We beg to inform you that we have received a telegram advising us that the perfected phonograph, the invention of Mr. Thomas A. Edison, will be sent out here next month in charge of an expert. This is stated to be far superior to an instrument termed the "graphophone."##In this connection we shall esteem it a favor if you will kindly advise us if under the new patent regulations recently promulgated and published in the "Japan Daily Mail" of this date, foreigners can now obtain protection in Japan for their inventions."##The above information you no doubt will be glad to receive and place on file for future reference.##This morning I received your valued favor of the 1st inst. Handed me through Mr. Tate, enclosing copy of your letter of Jan. 31st to the Edison-Berlin Co. On behalf of my Japan friends, I have to thank you for the prompt and firm manner in which you have taken up this question of interference by the Germans with our reserved rights in Japan, Korea and China. I fear that another incident has occurred, showing the probable interference in the same direction. For many months past Mr Lindsley has been in correspondence with the Engineer of the Korean Govt. in seoul, having charge of all the elec. Lighting matters, and as late as Dev. 16th and 17th last this engineer, Mr. Bjerre, hands my firm a memo. Of just what elec. Fixtures are required for furnishing the Korean Home Office with suitable elec. Lights, among them being orders for over 6,000 lamps, 1,200 assorted fixtures, 2,000 shades, 300 lt. dynamos, engines, boilers, wire, electoliers, &c. &c., the most important and difficult question then under negotiation being to arrange payment for the plant. My firm require to give some credit and take some risk in this matter, which we are willing to do. Now I learn from Mr. Upton that by mail received from Mr. Dyer in Antwerp, he has received letter from Japan, evidently inspired by such Japs. As the Niwas, inquiring for prices for this identical plant for Korea. I have personally explained this matter in detail to Mr. Tate this noon, and shown him copies of the correspondence which passed between my firm and the Korean engineer. I await anxiously the result of your request for explanation from the German Co. in regard to their interference with our Japan territory. As soon as received, if of calue, I will at once cable to Japan, as it is of vital importance to us.##Phonograph. I have suggested to Mr. Tate that you take the young gentleman proposed from Schenectady into the phono. Works not later than Feb. 15th, that he may have a good schooling and be ready to leave N.Y by March 10th, to take our S.P.R str. From ancouver March 22nd, due Yoko. About April 7th. With the expert I would be very glad to have you furnish me with at least 20/25 phonos. These should be sent from here not later than March 1st, to make sure of their accompanying the expert. Will you please try to have this carried out?##In connection with the Korean plant, I last evening wired to Yoko. As follows: "Telephone Co. Yokohama, cables Dyer, Antwerp about Korean Plant." This will enable Mr. Lindsley to ascertain at once from headquarters where this interference comes from and who are the aprties interested. Possibly, the German co. may have representatives in Japan who are ccconvassing secretly for such Edison Incandescent lighting business, but I am not advised of such being the case.##Please keep me informed of the progress of the outturn of the phonographs from your factory, and the proposed movement of our expert for Japan. I remain, Yours very truly, Edward Frazar




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