[D8966ABH], Letter from Charles L Selden, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co to Alfred Ord Tate, March 26th, 1889

Item

Abstract

Baltimore, Mar 26, 1889####The Phonoplex.####A.O. Tate, Esq.,####Care Mr. Thos. A. Edison,####Orange, N.J.####Dear Sir:####Replying to your favor of March 25th, I sto end herewith copy of a letter written by me Nov. 7th, 1888, to Mr. Edison on the subject of the Phonoplex, end a opy of the reply of Mr. Gilliland thereto. Your will note that he proposed charge a royalty of $20.00 oer year, per complete set, at a cost of $33.00 per station for the machinery. He goes into detail to show just what the cost would be.####Under that arrangement suh a circuit as we have between Baltimore and Washington, for instance, would have cost a royalty of only $40.00 per annum, as against the $100.00 charge.####I do not wish to be onsidered as acting arbitrarily in the matter, and I am sure you do not, but in my position the only thing for me to do is to take ccognizances of the correspondence and agreement such as I understand to have been made between the two companies, and under which, instruments were put in service and used.####I am desirous of extending our phonoplex service and putting in more instruments, but as I explained to you, I cannot well do it when we can build single lines for less money than the rates charged. Besides that I think that Mr. Edison recognizes, as we did at the time, that our road was entitled to the minimum price in view of the fact that we took the subject up at an early date and in every way that we could assisted the company when it was just starting out.####Personally, I did a good deal in that direction and have always said a good word for it.####Yours truly,####C Selden####Gen'l Sup't Tel.####[Enclosure]:####Baltimore, Nov 7, 1885####"Electric Phonoplex"####(Confidential)####Thos. A. Edison, Esq.####New York####Dear Sir:####I have lost no time since my return in placing the subject of the "Electro Phonoplex" (I have simply invented this, not knowing the name of the name does not suit you please let me know and I will have it stuffed for a parlor ornament: the Siemens Halske instrument looked like an enlarged telephone) and I write now to inquire as to your figures for the use of the device. Do you propose to charge a certain royalty for eacch office in which the instrument is used, or for a certain mileage per annum? It occurs to me that the office arrangement named first would be the best way to treat these ancilliary devices just as though they were sets of telephones to be placced. Of course we would not wish to close any arrangement with you, not only until we had received the figure but have had in addition thereto a chance to demonstrate as to its practicability on a working wine. In this connection I beg that you place your figures as low as you consistently can, 1st because I do not wish to frighten our people with the high note, and if you secure our people, it is an entering wedge for other Railroads to follow. Talk the matter over with Ed. and let me hear from you as soon as you can so that I can set the mill in motion, pending your further experiments or other movements in the matter.####Yours truly####C. Selden####Gen'l Supt Tel####New York Nov 10 1885####My Dear Selden####Yours of the 7th to Edison duly received. He desires me to reply to your inquiries also to give you a dew additional facts concerning the Phonoplex--####It is proposed to charge a royalty for use upon Railroad Lines of ($20)- twenty dollars per year per complete set- [I?] willing to put it in operation on short line at own expense, and turn it ovver if it works satisfactorily--####The cost of fitting out a line with 6 offices and two terminals (8 stations) all equipped with Phonos Fig 1 the cost would be 33 per station on total of $264--Of only 5 of the offices are to be worked Phono see Fig 2 then the other affines will only cost $14--each on a Total of $207 -- Battery in additional, 4 cells to each Phono station00 Fig 3 shows Phono worked from through stations only. Fig 4 a short section of a line worked Phono-- Fig 5a regular duplexed line with all the way stations worked Phonoplex-- Of operator leaves his morse key open he can be called on the Phonoplex-- It is exceedingly simple, no adjustment, and when once set up requires no further attention Don’t confound it with the complicated and troublesome duplex apparatus--Edison does not want to marke any arrangements at present for your commercial lines--If you should use it only from terminal points getting a through wire out of every way wire, it would cost you only $40-- per circuit, you would probably not introduce it in more than 100 offices the royalty on which would amount to only $2000--per annum or about the salary of one good man-- now this is the price which he wants it t net him, to this must be added whatever it is decided to give to those who assist us in getting the thing introduced. You will remember our convention, and will therefore know about how to be governed on this point--I would be very glad to see you to discuss any points upon which you are not perfectly clear, It will be impossible to leave here for a week or ten days any further information you may desire will be furnished promptly####Yours very truly####E.T. Gilliland####[Enclosure: a page of art]####[name mentions: Ezra Gilliland, Thos Edison, A.O Tate, Charles Selden, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co, Siemens & Halske]

Recipient

Date

1889-03-26

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

D8966ABH

Folder Set

D8966

Title

[D8966ABH], Letter from Charles L Selden, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co to Alfred Ord Tate, March 26th, 1889

Microfilm ID

128:280

Publisher

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