[D8962AAP], Letter from Jesse H Lippincott to Metropolitan Phonograph Co, James B Metcalf, August 9th, 1889


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[D8962AAP], Letter from Jesse H Lippincott to Metropolitan Phonograph Co, James B Metcalf, August 9th, 1889

Editor's Notes

"Your favor of the 1st was duly received and has had our careful consideration. In reply thereto, we beg leave to take expception to some of the statements made. The writer may have and probably did express himself favorably in regard to your action in leasing the premises now occupied by your company, but as to expressing myself as you put it “strongly”, that he has no recollection of doing. I doubt very much whether I knew that your intended to occupy No. 257, Fifth Avenue, until the matter was pretty well settled in your own minds. I thought it was a good move; if I was mistaken, it was simply an error of judgment that had been endorsed by your directors or executive committee, when they decided to make the lease. It was my understanding that in addition to your uptown quarters, you intended to have an office in this vicinity, right among the business houses, and it was in this connection that I expressed myself in favor of the uptown premises, but had the question been submitted to me, as to the advisability of your taking an uptown or a downtown office, I certainly should have advised the latter. ### You say “As we did not then and have not even yet obtained machines of the quality and in the quantity promised”, in answer to this, we beg leave to say that you obtained machines just as promptly as we received them. That, if promises were made you that were not fulfilled, they were based on promises made to us, which, at the time, we had every reason to expect would be carried out. In regard to the quality of the instruments, we beg leave to call your attention to the following clause from the 13th section of your agreement: “The instruments delivered by the party of the first part under this agreement shall at all times possess all the improvements thereon, which at the time of such delivery, or prior thereto, have been adopted by the party of the first part. The deliveries we have made we claim have been strictly in compliance with the above. ### You state “With the aid of our offices, our exhibitions, our expenditures and our endeavors to push the enterprise, your company has succeeded in profitably placing the stock of numberless local companies all over the United States”. So far as this company is concerned, it has had nothing whatever to do with placing the stock of local companies. It sold its territory in many cases to parties who did not visit New York, and who, prior to their purchases, had never been in the rooms of the Metropolitan Phonograph Company. ### Your inability to place more machines, we think has been owing somewhat to your business methods. So far as we know, your advertisements were inserted in journals that only reached the very best class of people. Men who were perfectly able to pay for proficient stenographers. Our experience has been that the people who are the most enthusiastic about these machines and who take hold of them most readily are not those that read journals like the Evening Post, but are business men of the medium class who are in a great majority in this country, and who have never had the advantage of a proficient stenographer. In your employment of canvassers we have understood that the price you offered for securing customers was so inadequate that you could not obtain proper representatives.### You state that you cannot accept our waiving of rentals prior to July 1st as in full satisfaction of your claims we beg leave to inform you that in relinquishing our right to rentals prior to the date stated above, we made it uniform with all of the sub-companies and that we did not anticipate you would give us credit for it on account of what you supposed to be a claim against us. ### As to the legal points referred to, not having had a consultation with our attorney, who is now in Europe, we prefer not to discuss them, and will close by saying that we do not consider that you have a claim on us for $10,000. or for any other sum."




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