[D9238AAZ], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Inman Steamship Co, 1892


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[D9238AAZ], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Inman Steamship Co, 1892

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


To the Inman Line of Steamship Company,
It has occurred to Mr. Edison that the Phonograph Cover be placed on the Ocean Steamers for the pleasure, entertainment, and instruction of passengers, as there are many hours on an ocean voyage when the passengers, especially ladies, do not know "how to kill time," and it "believes that the phonograph would, on social occasions, pleasantly come into play.
For this purpose, it is proposed to place in each of the steamers of your line a first class, cabinet finished phonograph, which shall [illegible] a copy but the small space not over two feet square and can be placed wherever desired.
It is not to be used as a advertisement in any respect whatever, but solely for the amusement and instruction of the passengers; and in the behalf the following propositions are submitted to your company, viz:
1. The Phonograph to be exhibited at such hours and the company shall direct.
2. To be in charge of a competent young man of good appearance and courteous manners, and to wear such dress or uniform, or the company shall dispute.
3. He shall be provided with American money to be exchanged for the accommodation who are the phonograph.
4. The Phonograph are to be furnished with first class cylinders, containing the best vocal and instrumental music, recitations, speeches, humorous and instructive, and the best efforts of same the most prominent personages of the day.
5. On Sundays sacred music of the best composers will be given.
6. Cylinders will also be supplied for private conversations or communications, and the resources of this instrument, in this respect, are simply wonderful in the reproduction of everything that may be said or sung.
7. The tariff of prices to the passengers will be more agreeable to the company suggestions and such payments made to the Company for the privilege of putting phonographs as shall be required.
8. All expenses for the Phonographs and of the persons in charge to be paid by parties putting them on.
9. The parties will further comply with any rules, regulations or terms which the company shall deem to be just and reasonable.
There are undoubtedly all kinds of applications made to your company by parties driving to place various things upon your ships, but it is believed that the phonograph which is now so universally known as one of the marvels of the age cannot be laced in the ordinary category, and it is therefore completely trusted that the foregoing propositions will receive a favorable consideration. No other parties have the right to make any propositions in behalf of the phonograph as they have no authority or control whatever.
Any references or security demanded will be given and any further propositions required will be made or any conditions imposed will be complied with. An answer at the earliest convenience will be appreciative.
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