[D8959ADD], Letter from Samuel Insull to Alfred Ord Tate, August 7th, 1889


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[D8959ADD], Letter from Samuel Insull to Alfred Ord Tate, August 7th, 1889

Editor's Notes

"I have carefully read all your letters of the 22nd, 23rd, and 27th. What you have told me about Gouraud is of course old so far as I am concerned, and does not in any way surprise me. Your investigations simply confirm, and prove as correct, my prognostications with relations to illustrious Colonel.### There is very little that I need comment on in your letters, except your suggestion as to leaving Gouraud alone until the early part of next year. It occurs to me that there is one point you have overlooked: If we leave him alone and allow things to drift until January next, the Graphophone people will have formed and floated the European Company. Moreover, they will have obtained the money necessary for pushing their business, and our chances of getting a big price out of them will be less than if we deal with them now. You must remember that whilst it is still uncertain as to whether they can float successfully a Company, they will be inclined to pay us a much better price than if we wait until such time as their Company has been floated and they have their capital in their treasury. I might enlarge on this point for a week, but I would be unable to add anything further. The Graphophone people to-day are undoubtably scared since we broke off connection with the Seligmans. They have sent several people to us, notably Mr. Haynes, about whom Mr. Edison can tell you, and I am confident that within the next few days this gentleman will again turn up, and will, in all probability, bring with him Mr. Dos Pasos, who is, I believe, the Attorney for hte Seligmans in connection with this [----]. Probably by the time you receive this letter I shall be again cabling you on this subject. Do not imagine when I do so that I am negotiating with the Seligmans. I shall do absolutely nothing unless they come to me. I had a long conversation with Mr. Edison the night before he left, and he and myself had an absolute understanding as to how to deal with anything that might turn up from the ‘Children of Israel’. Should any attempt be made by the Graphophone people to float a Company in London before they [-----], not a moment should be lost by Mr. Edison in acquainting the English public with the fact that the Graphophone is by no means the Phonograph; and I am confident that if English capitalists understand that if they go into the Graphophone Company separate from the Phonograph, they will have on their hands a big commercial fight, they will hesitate, and I believe refuse to put money into the Graphophone until Mr. Edison and the Phonograph has been dealt with. I don’t think it will be best therefore to sit quietly down. I know that the real negotiations for the sale of the Phonograph to the ‘Children of the Promised land’ (the Seligmans here) will have to take place here.### The course I have pursued with relation to the order for one thousand (1,000) instruments is owing to the fact that we do not want to give Mr. Gouraud an opportunity to crawl out of his order for the 1,000 instruments. On the other hand, we do not want to put Gouraud in the position of claiming that we have thrown obstacle in his way of obtaining Phonographs. If he is able to claim this he may be able to use it as a means of getting an extension of his contract. Which, after all, is only an option contract, subject to his taking a certain number of instruments in a given time. This phase of the matter has only occurred to me whilst dictating this letter.### I am leaving to-night for about five days vacation, feeling very much used to owing to the extreme close attention I have had to give to business for the past year. Major Eaton is going away with me, and I shall consult him as to the legal aspect of this matter. ### I wish you would show Mr. Edison the above. I am dictating this letter to Mr. Butler on the Albany night boat, as I have been compelled to take him as far as Albany with me in order to finish up my work before going away. You will therefore excuse my not signing it." [office assistant; probably Thomas Butler]







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