[HM89ABU], Legal Pleading, Thomas Alva Edison, John Canfield Tomlinson, Ezra Torrance Gilliland, October 25th, 1889


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[HM89ABU], Legal Pleading, Thomas Alva Edison, John Canfield Tomlinson, Ezra Torrance Gilliland, October 25th, 1889

Editor's Notes

This is a brief in which Thomas Edison is bringing civil suit against Ezra Gilliland and John Tomlinson, in equity, for attempting to sell a contract as Edison's stock agent, a position for which neither Gilliland nor Tomlinson had paid anything to earn in the first place, along with some of Thomas Edison's stock in the Edison Phonograph Company. They furthermore lied to Edison, telling him that they were making the sale for far less than they actually were--such that Gilliland was to receive 250,000 dollars in cash from the deal, while Edison was led to believe the sum was no greater than 75,000. Edison represents his relationship to Gilliland as having been close, friendly and confidential before this incident, and represented Gililland's position and stock in the Edison Phonograph Company as having been awarded him by Edison in light of this relationship. After splitting up the 250,000 dollars between them, Tomlinson and Gillilland purchased various properties with the money. Edison insists that whatever property purchased by the defendants with this money is now held by them in trust for Edison. Edison insists that by their fraud, Gililland and Tomlinson forfeit any right to any compensation from Edison that they might have been owed, even the original 75,000 dollars which Edison was willing to award them, though if the judge finds that Gililland did indeed have a right to sell the contract, Edison asks that Gililland be awarded no more than the original 75,000. Edison insists that they hand over the 250,000 dollars to him. ## Thereafter follows "Exhibit A," a copy of the original contract between the Edison Phonograph Company and Gililland, in which Edison appoints Gilliland as exclusive general agent for the sale of phonographs in the United States and Canada ## "Exhibit B" is the contract made between Edison and Lippincott for Edison to sell to Lippincott his entire capital stock in the Edison Phonograph CO. for 500,000 dollars. ## Thereafter attached is a copy of a contract between Edison and Lippincott's American Phonograph Company, licensing them to sell his phonographs under the title of "Phonograph-Graphophones," in exchange for a royalty, entitling the company to sell any further improvements that Edison might make on the phonograph for the next 15 years without further compensation. A second contract between the Edison Phonograph Works and the American Phonograph Company is thereafter attached, in which the Edison Phonograph Works grants the American Phonograph Company the exclusive right to manufacture the phonograph and apparatuses connected therewith in perpetuity, subject to conditions such as the inspection of the manufacturing of these phonographs by the Edison Phonograph Works, and the payment of 500,000 dollars to Thomas Edison.



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