[D9242AAY], Letter from Charles Augustus Cheever to Alfred Ord Tate, November 17th, 1892


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[D9242AAY], Letter from Charles Augustus Cheever to Alfred Ord Tate, November 17th, 1892





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


Charles A. Cheever,
13 Park Row,
New York, Nov. 17, 1892.
Mr. O. E. Tate,
Vice-President North American Phonograph Co.,
Edison Bldg., Broad St., City.
Dear Sir:-
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your favor of November 11th, with enclosures.
Referring to our conversation of Friday last, I understand the following to be in substance the conditions suggested by you for arrangement between your Company and myself. If I have misunderstood any of the points, I will be glad to have you call my attention to the same.
That I shall set as Agent of N. A. P. Co., for the territory originally held by the Metropolitan Phonograph Company, i. e., the counties of Westchester, New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens and Suffolk, N. Y.
That my office shall be established in connection with the main office of the N. A. P. Co., in this city.
That all expenses connecting with the operations of my agency, including rent, assistance of necessary employees, Typewriter etc., as may be deemed proper for the best promotion of the business; and sales commissions to canvassers, &c., shall be borne by the North American Company, the same, however, to be incurred only under the approval of the North American Company.
That you propose that my compensation for devoting my time and attention to this business shall be $15.00 per machine, for each machine sold for use in said district, and ten per cent on the gross or ultimate price to customers of supplies sold for use within said District.
That special arrangements are to be agreed upon regarding the operation of the Automatic Phonograph, whereby I shall be entitled, as an outsider, to operate the Automatic Phonograph business within my territory, providing that I pay the North American Company their regular charges to the public for rental or sale of machines and appliances used.
That the contract shall be made for the term of the proposed amended agreement with the New York Phonograph Company, i. e., until July 1st, 1895.
That above I believe covers your suggestion of last week, and with the following changes would be satisfactory to me.
That my commission instead of being $15.00 per Phonograph, shall be (as in the case of supplies sold) 10 per cent on the gross or list price; then if special Phonographs were sold at higher or lower prices, the amount of my returns would be proportionate. Nothing was said between us about the commission in case of rentals, &c., but I would suggest that the 10 per cent commission apply to this branch of the business also.
In as such as the success of the business will depend entirely upon the methods which the North American may from time to time adopt, and the extent of the financial backing, attention and facilities which they may give, and this being entirely within their own control, I feel I am justified in requiring a minimum amount of commission to be guaranteed. I suggest that I shall be entitled to draw against my commission account the sum of $300.00 per month, and that the guarantee account and commission be adjusted quarterly.
There should be an understanding as to the amount of commission you intend to authorize to be paid canvassers. I understand your intention is to be liberal in this respect, so as to induce employment of the best talent, and I would suggest (except in special instances) the canvassers to be required to set up the machines and instruct in their use.
There are, of course, many details connected with the conduct of business, which it is not necessary to embody this letter, but which can be settled when the concession arises.
Yours truly,
(Signed) Chas. A. Cheever.

County of Essex
Personally appeared before me this 26th day of January, 1893, Thomas Maguire, who being duly sworn stated that he made the foregoing copy of letter from Chas. A. Cheever to O. E. Tate, and that the same is an exact copy of the original.
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