[D8944AAI], Letter from George W Ketcham to Thomas Alva Edison, December 26th, 1889


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[D8944AAI], Letter from George W Ketcham to Thomas Alva Edison, December 26th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[Ans Jan 3/89] New York, Dec 26th 1889 Thos A Edison, Esq My Dear Sir, Excuse the unusual liberty II take. I was once introduced to you by Mr. Chas. Smith, when you had a shop in Ward st., Newark. I learn you are working on an independent street car which is soon to be tested in Orange. I am Chm of the Railroad Comb of Newark Council am living at Rovevill & have spent 6 mos investigating motors for street railways. Our roads run to and thro Orange & so we are mutually interested in making the right moves We have made a report (copy enclosed) which is in the line of the storage or other independent motor. As far as the electrical part of the question is concerned we recommend--##1st- Selection of very best motors, say "Thompson" or Sprague or "short" or similar.##2d All street constructions first suspected & plan filed--best, light, iron poles &c.##3d An expert (electrical) to supervise all.##4th--Safety wires over all wires=guarding##5th No deadly currents##6th--Storage battery substituted at earliest possible time.##Will you kindly address one a line (envelope enclosed) stating if above is rigidly adhered to, if danger to life is eliminated? Most truly Geo. W. Ketcham <[tram?] wires over all wires> [ENCLOSURE IS circular:] Essex Passenger Railway Company and Newark and Irvington Street Railway Company.##Resolved, That the Essex Passenger Railway Company and the Newark and Irvington Street Railway Company be granted permission to substitute electrical or chemical motors for horse power on all their lines within the limits of the city of Newark, New Jersey, on the following terms and conditions:##First. That said motors be of the best quality of such pattern and construction as the Common Council shall approve.##Second. Before doing work of any description on the streets, the Companies shall file a plan with the Committee on Streets and Highways to be approved by the Common Council before work begins, and the same shall be completed within one year from the date of such approval. The same Committee may employ an expert to supervise the work, at an expense not exeeding five hundred dollars, the cost of same to be defrayed by the Railway Companies.##Third. On the line extending from Second River through Washington and Belleville avenues, Broad street and Clinton avenue to Elizabeth avenue, storage battery or other independent motors may be run, and, on the above route (excepting as herein specified) no overhead wires or poles shall be allowed. On all other lines now operated by the above Companies (excepting as herein specified) poles and wires may be used on the following terms, viz.:##(a.) All materials shall be of the best pattern and selected by the Common Council, as provided for in Article Two of this agreement.##(b.) On broad street eighth avenue and Market street, and on Market street between arlington and Ferry streets, no additional poles shall be allowed, but wires may be strung (with consent of owners) on poles already standing, or the Railway Companies may arrange with the Electric Lighting Companies in these districts for new and more shapely poles, which shall sere both as lamp posts and guys, the object being to lessen the construtions already existing in the sections named. A like arrangement may be carried out wherever practicable, in other parts of the city. In no instane shall poles be allowed in the centre of a street.##(c.) All operating wires shall be furnished with safety guards to prevent telephone or other wires falling theron. No currents shall be permitted which oculd in any wise endanger life.##(d.) Whenever storage battery or other independent motors are available on the Newark grades, they shall be substituted, and the overhead wires and poles removed.##The Common Council may designate by resolution the time of such removal.##Fourth. For such times as poles may be allowed, the City shall hae the right to attach thereto a suitable number of wires for public use and when poles are abandoned, such of them as may still be needed for police, fire or other city wires, shall be left standing and beome the property of the City.##Fifth. The Companies shall run a suitable number of open ars in summer, and closed cars in all seasons. Also special cars whenever necessary. All ars to be properly heated in cold weather, and well lighted the year round. Cars to be run at such headway, not exceeding twelve miels per hour, as the Common Council may determine.##Sixth. The Companies to give transfers over their own lines (and each others lines) for s single fare, and with other Companies on such terms as may be arranged with such Companies, or in case of failure to agree, by the arbitrators hereinafter provided.##Seventh. In addition to the payment of the general tax, and conformity to all ordinances of the ity now in force, or whih hereafter may be enacted, the companies shall, on the first day of May of each year, pay into the City Treasury two per cent. Of their gross earnings, for the previous year, upon such lines as may have been equipped with motors, said payment to be accompanied by a sworn statement of an officer of the Company. Gross earnings shall be understood to inlude all receipts from railway traffic.##In case of any disagreement between the City and the Companies named, on any matter connected with this permission, or with respect to any change in motive power, or as to any ompliance with the terms of this agreement, the company interested shall, on demand of the City, submit the same to the decision of three arbitrators, to be appointed as follows: One to be the Mayor of the City (or in his absence or failure to act, some members of the Common Council, to be appointed by that body,) another to be a representative of the Railway Company, and a third chosen by these two.##ninth. Any failure on the part of the companies to comply with the terms of this agreement, or with the ordinanes of the city (except under orders of the Court,) shall be deemed sufficient cause to, and shall authorize the Common Council to revoke and annul this permission, and the same is granted on this express condition.##Tenth. Before exercising any permission hereby given, said Ccomapnies shall make, execute and deliver to the City, a ontract, embodying the terms herein expressed, the same to be approved by the City Counsel.##George W. Ketcham##John F. Young,##Committee on Railroads and Franchises.##Introducced into Common Council by Alderman Ketcham, december 20, 1889. Laid over and ordered printed.






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