[D8937AAO], Report from William Dennis Marks to Edison Electric Light Co of Philadelphia, June 19th, 1889

Item

Abstract

I have to report to you that the system of conductors for electricity is now in good working shape, slight defects will arise from time to time requiring attention but this week ends any extensive repairs under the Guarantee of the Edison Machine Works to us. I have secured an additional ten per cent discount on the copper conductors for Arch st. and its connections, making the cost of these some $2,500 less than my last estimate. I have taken advantage of the slack business of the Edison Lamp co., to order 20,000 Lamps to be delivered to us as we shall need them during the ensuing six months. Our present stock of Lamps is pretty well exhausted. The engines and dynamos in the Station are working very satisfactorily, the Boilers too have been gotten into very shape. As soon as I can obtain careful drawing covering every point from Abendroth and Root furnishing an additional 1000 H.P in Boilers, and costing between $15 and $16,000; I shall order them which will complete what is necessary for a running capacity of 24,000 Lamps for next Autumn. I am vvery much pleased to find that our prseent Bills for light very closely cover the running expenses of the Station. With the ending of the active work of construction all of our energy should be devoted to securing customers. I would therefore suggest that solicitors upon commission be obtained and subject to the general direction of our Mr. Maxwell be instructed to prosecute the work vigorously.####I have also found in investigation of accounts of other stations that the average cost per Lamp hour of a Station having 15,000 Lights is in the neighborhood of 1/2 a cent. I would therefore suggest for your consideration a reduction in the price of the lectric Light to the consumer to 3/4 of a cent per Lamp hour from October 1st, 1889. It will be necessary, in order to cover our running expenses, to keep the price of light as it is until the Summer months have passed. At 3/4 of a cent per Lamp hour from October 1st, 1889. It will be necessary, in order to cover our running expenses, to keep a price of light as it is until the Summer months have passed. At 3/4 of a acent per Lamp hour we are on exactly the same basis as gas at $1.50 per thousand. It is needless to repeat to you that a 16 Candle Electric Lamp gives far more light than a 5 ft. burner of Phila. Gas Works. It would appear, however, that if customers can be assured that their bills for the Electric Light will be no greater than for Gas and at the same time that they will obtain far more and a better light we will be enabled to secure a very large increase, almost immediately. By instructing our canvassers to make these statements during the Summer doubtless we can secure many customers in Dwelling House District, who would like to have their houses wired in their absence, besides thus squarely meeting the price on the question of Gas we will also shut out the competition arising from isolated Plants claiming to be able where a large number of Lamps are grouped together to furnish the Electric Light cheaper than it is now furnished from the Central Station. You will observe that increase of customers does not mean any increase of pay roll for the station, it simply means increase in coal and in Lamps and a larger number of customers at a reduced price will produce for this Company a larger net profit than few customers at the original price of 1 1/8 cents per Lamp hour.####As I have already advised you, it will be necessary hereafter for me to be in New York although I expect to return to this City at least twice a week until all construction is complete; some change howeer, should be made and I venture to recommend to you for promotion to the position of Assistant Engineer, Mr. Wm. H. Norris, with an increase in salary to any $200 to $250. per month. I have known Mr. Norris as boy and man for the last ten years; he is a thoroughly educated Engineer and of far more than usual intelligence. I can ouch for his integrity and his conscientious performance of his duties. I do not think that other changes will be required at present, I shall take Mr. Henderson and Mr. Castor with me to New York thus reducing the working force to the minimum limit.####I do not know that it is necessary to mention it, but I have preserved copies of all the drawings of this Station made under my supervision. The original drawings are filed for reference in case they are needed in the future. I am,

Date

1889-06-19

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

D8937AAO

Folder Set

D8937

Title

[D8937AAO], Report from William Dennis Marks to Edison Electric Light Co of Philadelphia, June 19th, 1889

Microfilm ID

126:372

Publisher

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