[D8940ABD], Letter from George W Coster to Thomas Alva Edison, May 28th, 1889


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[D8940ABD], Letter from George W Coster to Thomas Alva Edison, May 28th, 1889

Editor's Notes

Cincinnati, O. May 28th, 1889####Thomas A, Edison, Esq.,####New York City.####Dear Sir:####I have supplied two of our dynamos to a Mr. Iler, of Omaha, Nebraska, to be used for the purpose of purifying and ageing liquors, etc. Mr. Ilor is a wealthy man, and one of the officers of the Whiskey Trust, and he owns the controlling patent for this process. The process from my personal observation has proven very satisfactory. Mr. Iller is no electrician, and he has no electrical knowledge at his command. He has laid the matter before me as it is, and he's now placed the whole matter with myself and Mr. Ford for perfecting in detail and getting in shape for the market.####The trouble arises through the magnets not being properly built to distribute the magnetusm throughout the tank containing the liquor. No calculations have ever been made to ascertain the exact relations between the power of the magnet and the amount of liquor passing through the tank.####The process consists of an inner magnet wound around a shell core, which sets over a solid core cast on the frame, which covers the magnets and makes it water-proof, so that the liquid cannot get to the magnets. On the outside of this inner magnet is another magnet wound around another casting, cast on the outside of the inner magnet, the whole of which is encased in an iron cylinder with water-proof cap, through which the wires are brought to the surface and attached to the wires loading from the machine. The iron which constitutes the cores of those two magnets are brazed onto a brass bottom so as to make it water-proof; The exposed iron surface of the magnet being the edges of these two cylindrical cores at the bottom, the smaller of which is about two inches in diameter and the larger about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. The entire cylinder is about eight inches in height by six inches in diameter, and the arrangement has heretofore been to place one or more of these cylinders in a tank, through which the liquor is flowing from bottom to top, the magnetism having the effect of precipitating a sediment from the liquor, which gives the liquor all the properties of old age.####Mr. Iler gave us one of these magnets, which we had apart and examined very closely, and he has agreed to send on a complete set of his apparatus, together with all the samples he now has from treating the various kinds of liquors, and also samples to be treated, so that we will have a good starting point at which to begin.####Mr. Iler has a son whom he has thus far trusted with the handling of this matter, and whom he wishes to havvve go on to your laboratory and remain during the time that the experiments, etc., are being conducted, so that he will be well fitted for visiting the different distilleries and introducing this method when we shall have the apparatus perfected for them.####Mr. Iler stands ready to pay for the experiments of any on that you will put at that work. He also agrees to purcchase all of the apparatus, including dynamos and magnets, from the Edison Company, and if you will perfect it for him he will give you any fair interest in the business which you would ask.####I do hope you can do something to help us out in this matter, as if you had seen this process like myself, you could not help but believe in it, and if we once perfect it, the amount of money which it would bring in would be enormous. To show how large a revenue this would produce, Mr. Iler could easily get one cent a bushel for each bushel of grain used in the distillery. An average distillery uses 1000 bushels a day; this would be a revenue of $10 a day from each disillery, and as the apparatus would cost about $300, you can see what an immense revenue there would be from a small outlay.####I ccan also assure you that this is not the only use to which these magnets can be put, as we know an engineer who has been tresting the water which he uses in his boiler with this process. Before using the process the boilers always had a heavy inrustation of hard scale, and since the process has been used no scale at all forms.####Will you please advise me what you will do in this matter. I hope very much that you will take hold of it, as I know it will require very little of your valuable time to have it perfected, and I believe that there is loads of money in it for us all, and no electric sugar case either.####Very respectfully####Geo W. Coster




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