[D8941AAN], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Samuel Insull, May 17th, 1889


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[D8941AAN], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Samuel Insull, May 17th, 1889

Editor's Notes

Orange, N.J, May 17, 1889####My Dear Insull,--####Here is another letter from Mr. Frazar, in regard to the invasion of China and Japan by the Berlin Edison Co. This matter has been put aside for the last few months, awaiting until affairs had developed to such an extent that you could approach Mr. Villard and obtain his assistance. What Frazar objects to in, the use of Mr. Edison’s name in China and Japan by the Berlin Company. He says he is not afraid of their competition if they compete under their own name, but he does object to their advertising themselves as Mr. Edison’s agents.—practically that is what it amounts to.####Yours truly####A.O. Tate, Private Secretary####[Enclosures are D8941AAO, ]:####New York, May 9th, 1889####Thomas A. Edison Esq.,####The Laboratory, Orange.####Dear Sir:####I have just received from Yokohama another special letter on the subject of the Berlin-Edison Company’s supplying Edison dynamos and lamps for Japanese direct from Berlin. One Japanese named Niwa who called upon you some time ago lately told our Edison electrician Mr. Brenner, in Tokio, that they had given their order some time ago for an Edison plant of 1,000 lights as a commencement to the German Edison Co. in Berlin and that the dynamos and lamps would be received from there. My partner adds that it is only through the experience that the Niwas have got through the introduction and use of the valuable Bergmann goods in Tokio that they expect to have some duplicated in that city, and that by going about and copying from central stations now running there these Japanese are enabled to assemble a plant modeled after the Edison system. These latter infringements in the absence of copyright and patent protection in Japan, you cannot, of course, help; but the more serious one of the direct ccompetition now being put forward by the Berlin Company is one to which I must again call your serious attention. Further than this, my Shanghae partner writes me by last mail that he had good hopes of installing an Edison plant in the new cotton cloth company in Shanghae, but the manager who is a personal friend of Mr. Wetmore’s candidly told him that he had serious doubts whether he (Mr. W.) would receive the order, as some Germans had just been offering all sorts of inducements to the directors who are chiefly Chinese to buy their incandescent plant from them; and so you see that both in Japan and China the Germans feel themselves free to introduce your own special inventions.####Will you do me and my partners the personal favor to confer with Messrs. Insull and Villard and see if some immediate steps can be taken to have this matter arranged as suggested by you to me when I was in the Laboratory on Feb. 22 last? As stated to you on my last call, my firm is offering very fair terms to Japanese in contracts for Edison plants; but if we are to come into active competition with the Germans in this same class of goods, we well know what this means, Viz.: that there will be no bottom or basis of prices whereby the Japanese will be willing to go on and increase the use of electric lighting. It is a matter demanding our most serious consideration, and I shall be pleased to hear from you shortly after receipt of this.####Mr. Churchill has now arrived in Japan and we are at once taking steps for the introduction of the Phonograph. I hope to get favorable reports very shortly.####Believe me,####Yours very truly####Everett Frazar####P.S. Could you not also have Mr. Dyer or other friend personally call on the Berlin Co and report to you the exact situation?





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