[D8963AAU], Letter from Walter Henry Miller to Thomas Alva Edison, June 9th, 1889


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[D8963AAU], Letter from Walter Henry Miller to Thomas Alva Edison, June 9th, 1889

Editor's Notes

"The pencil scheme of yours which you got up before I started, is a very good one indeed, and it does away with one of the chief objections to the Phonograph. That is you can correct your own mistakes. After you have made a mistake on the cylinder you say on the cylinder that you have made a mistake and then recall the typewriters attention to it. You simply make a mark around it with this black pencil, and before she does any transcribing she at once listens around the mark with her reproducer to find where it is. So you see it is a very convenient thing indeed. And I think it would be a good idea to send one or two with every machine ### I find that any one can learn how to run this spectacle, providing they will give us the time and attention to learn it. But I find it is very hard work to get a business man time, if he can not learn it in ten minutes. I hope that your new spectacle will be a good one, and that we will not have to stop the cylinder while adjusting with it. This is a very bad fault with this old spectacle. I find that in many cases that they forget to stop it and injure the record. Mr. Goodwin is quite fond of the foot treadle machine and he thinks it is a daisy. And I think they are the machine that are going to take like hot cakes. We have five machines here in practical use, and will put more out as soon as we get suitable batteries, or when we get some more foot treadle machines. Mr. Goodwin now does most of his dictating by the Phonograph. I think it would be a very good idea indeed to have some alarm arrangement on the end so to tell how lone your cylinder is going to last and how much you can get on the end. I find when putting them out to people who are not accustom to machine they will not know how long the cylinder is going to last. So that if they had a little alarm arrangement they could very easily gage it, and know when to stop. If you have yet got any kind of mailing cylinder, or any kind of box to send mailing cylinders in, I wish I could have a half a dozen shipped here, so that I could use them in mailing them. I would much rather do corresponding cylinders, than with letters. One of the principal objection to the Phonograph in the offices is that it is very dirty, the chipes from the recorder, when handled by an unexperienced person they get it all over the machine, and make it run very hard and also makes it look very dirty indeed. But this could be very easily done away with, by some kind of automatic brush under the cylinder. I find that chips from the cutting off knife does not bother in the least. How is the new shell getting along that slips inside the cylinder? I think it would be a capital idea while you are making this shell, try an experiment by having an end on each side of the shell with a center hole in it and slip it into the Phonograph the same as you would working the lathe by a spring center. This would do away with the drum altogether, and would be a very convenient thing to slip on a cylinder and take it off very quickly. ### Will the purchase of the Pumpelly Storage Battery by the North American Phonograph Co., effect the sale of the Edison new battery? If so I would like to know. I would like to hear from you in regard to any new improvements on the Phonograph, I remain."




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