[D8959ACQ], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Samuel Insull, July 22nd, 1889


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[D8959ACQ], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Samuel Insull, July 22nd, 1889

Editor's Notes

[16 handwritten pages from London, notes and qotes follow -- need transcription] Had long talk with Gouraud, also interview with Leyland. Gouraud: Phono Works must be paid immediately for 1,000 phonos when shipped but Gouraud has insufficient funds. G. doesn't think he can float a new company; considering whether to sell or lease the machinesconsidering. He needs competent agents: "We have seen the necessity for proper instruction in America." He doesn't have organization for this so it would be slow work and he's likely to reduce the number of machines ordered. Your cable of 18th said TAE preferred for Gouraud to go ahead and sell machines rather than spend time negotiating for rights "and I have therefored urged him [Gouraud] to commence real business. His policy however is one of delay. He either cannot raise money enough to buy any considerable number of machines or he doesn't want to do so." Believe his order for 1,000 machines was a "blind"---he has no sales organization and has only sent exhibiting agents to other countries. Such agents might meet the narrow terms of his contract with TAE (preventing reversion of rights to TAE) but not its spirit. Will cable for instructions. LEYLAND: "very guarded" but says Gouraud has no following and his history prevents confidence being placed in him. Familiar with Graphophone affairs. If a new syndicate formed to purchase phonograph, the patents would have to be investigated thoroughly. All this bears on conclusion of my last letter: "that people wanted Edison but would not swallow Gouraud." "I am well satisfied that all the people I have seen would join Mr. Edison and be glad to do so but Gouraud cannot command the cooperation of any of them." So what do you want to do? Have Gouraud proceed to start "legitimate business which means evasion and delay" or "allow him to follow his true inclinations and wait..for someone to buy him out" or force him to negotiate with some other representative of Edison, "which is the only way that London capital can be enlisted." Gouraud would first have to be "subjugated." "The phonograph wil only attain commercial successin Europe when it leaves [Gouraud's] hands"--what's the quickest way to remove it from his hands?





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