[D8959AFS], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, October 26th, 1889


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[D8959AFS], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, October 26th, 1889

Editor's Notes

I beg to confirm my cable of yesterday:- Noside New-York, After three weeks negotiations "powerful Syndicate Berlin Bankers probably including Siemens "offer immediate cash bonus Fifty Thousand pounds for half cash "and shares they get for us from German public companies they "will form on terms of your approval, I advise accepting. "Committee leave tomorrow. Answer quickly" and acknowledge receipt of yours in reply;- "Siemens certainly in it. Is Grapho mixed with it." to which I replied to-day as follows:- "Only Germany. No Graphs. Siemens certain "if can make for German Company only on terms of your approval. "Don't hesistate". ##It is not intended that the contrast between us and the Syndicate shall be in any way public; and it may be that the Syndicate shall be in any way public; and it may be that the Syndicate will be registered in England in order to avoid making known in Germany the members of it, or the condiditond of their participation in the profits to be derived from the formation of a German company. ## The effect of this arrangement will be that we will receive £50,000 as a bonus for giving the members of the Syndicate one half of what we subsequently receive from the German Company or Companies which we may form with their assistance. Their idea is to bring out a large German Compnay which would form subsidiary Companies on the American plaan. By adopting this plan it will be unnecessary to disclose under the German law, as would otherwise be the case, the partication they receive from us in consideration of their assistance and the £50,000 they pay us for that participation. This method they prefer because of some objectionable features in the new German law regarding public Companies. ## I am told that all the memebers of the proposed Syndicate are wealthy Bankers. Siemens at first refused to have anything to do with it, and tried to prevent the formation of the Combination. He told Mr Qnellmals - the Dresden Banker who is getting up the Syndicate, and who was one of the earliest to communicate with you from Dresden, and who is a most energetic and able man - that he would join the Syndicate if he could have the manufacturing of the machines for the public Company; and Quellmals tells me that Siemens Lawyer attended one of the meetings of the Syndicate and intimated to him in very plain terms that if Siemens & Halske did not have the contract for the manufacturing of the machines that we should have their opposition. The Syndicate are anxious to have siemens join, and see no objection to his firm manufacturing for the German Company on terms acceptable to them and ourselves, but the intention is to complete the Syndicate with or without Siemens, and having completeed the Syndicate the question of manufacturing can then be settled. You are aware that the Phonographs have to be made in Germany after 5 yeas, so that to keep the first Patents alive manufacturing will have to begin next year. ##The Graphophone people have been in Berlin making a good deal of stir, and it is with no little difficulty that we have succeeded in making this combination in spite of them. They are showing a very good instrument apparently, and talk about their low price of cost of manufacture and consequent low price to the public. ##I am anxious to close this business promptly and trust there will be no delay in your reply. The Committee are returning to Berlin to-night taking with them a sample of each of our machines. I shall follow them early next week and close the business while it is hot. ##I tried to make the cash larger, but the negotiations finally resolved themselves into the amount named or nothing, and I regard it as a very good transaction everything considered. If we did not close with these people it would be difficult for us, if not impossible, to get on with any fresh group in face of their having abandoned it. ## My idea is that, until arrangements for manufacturing are completed satisfactory to yourself and after we have been paid our £50,000, the Phonographs shall be furnished by you on the same terms as you furnish them to the American Company, cost price, labor and material and 20 per cent.




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