[D8940ABG], Letter from William Preston Hix to Thomas Alva Edison, June 13th, 1889


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[D8940ABG], Letter from William Preston Hix to Thomas Alva Edison, June 13th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[Buffalo] "I send you by todays mail a map of Buffalo, showing the best lighting & also what the other companies are doing has is one dollar & 40/1 per & very good gas. I have proposed to these people that we put in $250000 and they put in the same and capitalize at $500,000. I ignore the patent question entirely and tell that if we know we will make dividend on our inestment. They should be satisfied to do the same. I also tell them that the reason we do not put in all the money is that we want local people interested to get the [franchises?] for us and act as Prest & Director in order to localize the investment When asked about how many lamps this will put in. I say that cant be determined exactly until the engineering Department make the plans. That is to our interest to get in as many lamps for the money as it is theirs. I also state the reasons that we will NOT ALLOW them to take more than 50 % of the stock is because we want to control the erection of the plant and put it in on a paying basis. This kind of talk takes beautifully and I think we can form on this plan. We will have trouble in getting franchises as we will [antagonize?] all the gas and electric light interest. But money and brains will do it.####I had a letter of introduction to Hon Wilson Bissell expert Cleveland's law partner and a man who stands the highest in the Community for honesty & reliability. I find him very pleasant and is certainly fair & square but unfortunately he is the council for the Branch Co, but he is VERY anxious (after I unfolded my scheme) for me not to do anything until Dan Oday returned from Europe which will be about July 15th. Oday is president of the Brush Co. The Natural Gas Co. one of the Banks and a Director in ---- enterprise in Buffalo. Bissell says as we will not hurt his [interest?] in the arc lamps that he thinks Oday is satisfied by the time these as no money in the Westinghouse System and that he will throw it up and go in with us. Others here speak in the same manner of Oday I told him we could not wait for O Day. Bissell says the Brush Co declared their first dividend on last January & it was 1 1/2 %. He thinks that electric lighting has been such a failure here that people will be very slow to invest & that they would not invvest any other place than the one I propose.####I will remain here until Monday next seeing about the chances for franchises & then return to N.Y and report to Herrick. I will carry him a similar map to this one & I send this to you so that you may think overf the situation and devise some cheaper & more expeditious ---- of determining the electrical center. The old way does not look to increase in the direction of the growth of the City. I believe I can go over it get a better electrical center than you can in the old way I think we can operate about 40,000 lamps here####Please think ovver this matter and make any suggestions that occur to you where I see you. I want you to interest yourself in this because I have great faith in your business judgment and I have always profited by your advice####I have a meeting tonight with a lawyer who will tell me what he will charge to get franchises as he says he can do so####I also met some capitalists this afternoon at the private residence of CJ Hamlin to whom I brought a letter from the Mayor of Utica who is an old friend of mine"




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