[D8955ABJ], Letter from W J Alder to Thomas Alva Edison, April 10th, 1889


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[D8955ABJ], Letter from W J Alder to Thomas Alva Edison, April 10th, 1889

Editor's Notes

I'm an old schoolfellow of Harry Olrick, having been in the service of this firm for nearly 20 years; you will remember Harry visited you on behalf of Mather & Platt of Manchester; I'm personally well-known to Mather & Platt too.###I made one of your first phonographs for amusement & seeing a drawing of your last machine in Engineering, made one of these too; seems to me the very fine screw thread you use (about 100 to the inch) in driving the recording instrument forward is likely to give trouble to the general public who are stupid and clumsy in handling a delicate machines; have a machine here used on steam engines that deals with the same problem as in the phonograph; have applied this device to your device and shown it to two experts; we think it entirely does away with the fine threaded screw difficulty; will offer you a drawing for, say, 500 pounds; you will, of course, want to know it works; could get Mather & Platt's opinion; perhaps you can suggest some mode by which my ideas can be conveyed to you so I get the remuneration and you don't pay for anything you can't use; watched your machine at an exhibition in London and became conversant with every screw & pin in it "out of pure admiration." [TAE marg.: "We have tried about 20 forms of driving & gave them up our latest form of screw & devices prevent the ignorant from hurting the screw--we have automatic machine for cutting the screw & it costs only 4 cents & I cannot afford cost now to change or improve the instrument until some future time E"]





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