[D8959AAH], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, January 24th, 1889


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[D8959AAH], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, January 24th, 1889

Editor's Notes

I desire to write to you in regard to the Graphophone. I feel that I have knocked Emunds out. You will see by the press cuttings that there is only one mention of the Graphophone to one hundred of the Phonograph. Notwithstanding this, however, strong parties have negotiated with him for the purchase of his patents on the ground of their controlling the feature of engraving of which the Phonograph is alleged to be an infringement- that is so far as its present form is concerned. Many overtures have been made to whe Phonograph with the Graphophone, but I have not considered it desirable to give them any encouragement.##of course, if the Graphophone has in it features which the Phonograph infringes, it will prove a serious thing to us unless as in a previous letter to me, you do what you say you can do, by makign it so that it does not. All presnet negociations are based upon the fact of the allegation that you do engrave. However, all this may be, but I have kept a stiff upper lip, and I know on the first authority, that in every case thus far where Emunds has in every other respect secured his purchaser, he has failed because of the fear of litigation with him. It appears I have a reputation in London for being a good patent fighter, which comes from the enormous amount of litigation that has resulted fro things with which every one knows I have been connected with- chiefly your own however, -during the last ten years, and Englishmen do not like to buy themselves into a law, suit.##The state of the Graphophone today is, -that Emunds option of the business is up at the end of this month and they wont extend his time. The money asked by the New York Capitalists is $25,000 and $33,000 in shares out of $100,000. I can buy the business on these terms myself but if I did so it would be indirectly through a third party. I have not felt disposed to do so up to this time. It may be that I am making a mistake but I should like you on receipt of this to cable me a word which will give me your views on this point. It may be if we don't get control of them now we may have the whole business of Scott & Wollaston and Gower over again and pay through the nose for it as we did. ### I should like you to use the following code; - ### If you have no very strong conjunctions convictions on this point and you fel disposed to be guided by my judgment with a full knowledge of the facts that I have here on the spot, simply cable me the word "indifferent". ### If on the other hand you feel that under no circumstances we should trouble yourself or I myself ourselves about the Graphophone and think that I should do nothing whatever to prevent its drifting into hostile hands, cable me "Nothing".##If you think that provided I can, without its being known, find the money through a third party- whom I can perfectly trust- and buy the Graphophone patents, and pay the money for the shares, under circumstances which will give me absolute control fo the policy of the Graphophone, so that I can let it be worked as an apparent opposition- and I shall be certainly relieved from opposition litigation between the two- or ultimately amalgamate if you should think it desirable to do so, cable me the word "Judgement". By that I shall understand that you will leave it entirely in my hands. I have a feeling that it is better to do this while so small a sum of money is involved. If I do it would be my idea to have the Graphophone manufactured to the extent to which people were willing to buy it outright, and confine its manufacture exclusively to the lines of the Graphophone being made under those patents in any way to infringe the Phonograph's patents. ### It may be too late for me to hear from you in time to do anything whatever you cable must be kept in strict confidence at your end as it would not suit me to have it known that we had bought the Graphophone patents from any fear of them. It may be too late for me to do this, and it will be too late, I fear unless Edmunds can get an extension of time which is exceedingly doubtful. He has shown me his hands completely as a dernier ressort having failed everywhere to do his business is trying to do it with me on a bed rock basis to himself rather than let the thing slip.





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