[D8940AAE], Letter from Leonard and Izard, Harry Ward Leonard to Charles Edward Chinnock, October 16th, 1888


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[D8940AAE], Letter from Leonard and Izard, Harry Ward Leonard to Charles Edward Chinnock, October 16th, 1888

Editor's Notes

Exhibit "D"####Copy.####Chicago, Oct 16 th., 1888.####Mr. C.E. Chinnock,####Vice-Prest. Edison United Manufacturing Co.,####65 Fifth Ave., New York N.Y####Dear Sir:--####We are in receipt of letter of Oct. 11 th. Notifying us that you will not continue the allowance of $4,000 pre annum after Nov. 19 th.####You claim that our contract was for one year. We cannot grant this. There is nothing in our contract which in any way fixes the time it is to run. You cannot discontinue the allowance without cancelling the contract, and we expect reasonable notice in case you wish to cancel our agency. As long as we represent you under existing contrct in any way, we shall expect the allowance, for if we represent you at all, it will be under tha contract, and you have no right to alter any portion of it except by mutual consent or by cancelling it altogether. Therefore we shall claim the allowance until we mutually agree to its discontinuance or until we cease to be your agents after three months notification. The above is our position, and we now wish to say a few things to show that you are operating this Agency very cheaply at present and that we are judtified in expecting the allowance and in fact a much larger one.####In the first place we represent no other electric light of any kind and do no work work for any system other than the Edison, though frequently urged to. We have five traveling agents all of whom have their expenses paid and receive a salary of $75 to $100, and in addition receive commission. The salaries alone of these agents amount to $400 per month, and the expense average, $120 per month month or $600 per month. That####is, out of a total expense of $1,000 per month, you are paying $3333 and we $666, or just twice as much as you. Our rent is $220 per month. Our office salaries entirely outside of ourselves. Amount to $300.65 . Our store-room salaries amount to $201. 58. Our Testing-room salaries are $100 per month. Our incidental expense connected with the business afverages $98.00 per Mo.####That is, the fixed charges of operating your agency whether we do any business or not, amount to $1920.23. This, as you see, includes nothing for our own time. Even supposing it worth only $333 per month, you are operating an important agency for $333 per Mo., and in addition to this $333, we are paying out $1920.00 whether we do any business or not.####Thus far we have probably lost money by acting as your agents, but we have been sowing the seed for a large harvest, and it is manifestly unfair that you should force into a position where we must either spend $4,000 per per year more, or else sacrifice what we have expended and let you receive all the benefit of it. But if after knowing all the facts, you still insist on our taking our choice of these two, we shall certainly take the latter, and charge our loss to misplaced confidence.####We have just closed contract with the Minneapolis Company by which we handel all their isolated business for two years, and shall establish a fine office in the Lumber Exchange, with our Mr. Andrews in charge of that office. This will be a decided benefit to your business in Wisconsin & Minnesota.####We wish to continue operating exclusively with the Edison Company, and we trust that you will not cancel our contract. If you will take the trouble to come out here, you will return coninced that the allowance is just, moderate and that it has been well used " The trouble is you are not posted about the situation here, and never will be by correspondence.####From Oct. 18 th. 1887 to Aug 18 th., 1888 (10 months) we paid you $24081.87, or a rate of $28,896.00 per year. If you will give us 10 o/o discount from present prices, excepting renewal lamps, we will accept this in lieu of the present allowance. In that case, if we did little or no business we would sustain all the direct loss, and we would have to increase our sales 50 per cent in order to get an amount equal to present allowance. We have bought more supplies from you than the Western Edison Company ever bought in the same period, omitting lamps, and yet we have ordered nothing for Chicago proper, which used to furnish at least half their business. Under this latter proposition you risk absolutely nothing, and we risk everything.####Remember that you have not been bothered by any troubles of any character with plants in our territory. You have billed the goods to us as though they were coal or iron, and have never had to look outside of x us for any collection. You have made absolutely no bad debts. You are dealing with practically one concern, and that a responsible one. We are the ones who stand the disputes, complaints and financial losses. The plants are constructed as well, if not better, than any in the country, and will always be a credit to you, and the amount of business we do is as much as any one could do, and is rapidly increasing. All these considerations are valuable ones, and we hope you will weigh them carefully before cancelling our contract.####Yours very truly####Leonard & Izard.####Per H.Ward Leonard.####[name mentions: Western Edison Light Co, H. Ward Leonard, Leonard & Izard, Charles Chinnock, Edison United Manufacturing Co.]




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