[LB006311], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Ernst Biedermann, August 17th, 1880


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[LB006311], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Ernst Biedermann, August 17th, 1880

Editor's Notes

Your esteemed favor of July 28th was duly received. It is quite impossible for me to comply with your request to send one of my men. The light is a vast system, a new art and industry and before we can get things ready we shall have to arrange for the manufacture of our machinery. We are establishing the nucleus of a Lamp FActory here iwth a daily capacity of 1200 lamps. This factory alone has cost many thousands of dollars and months of labor in inventing automatic apparatus for cheapening the lamps and working people had to be taught to work the apparatus. It would be impossible to establish such a factory in Switzerland sooner than 2 or 3 years hence everybody must depend on us for their lamps for a while. Regarding the Engine. Our Dynamo Machine is eight times larger and more powerful than any hitherto built. Is worked direct by an Engine of special construction making 60 strokes per minute--no belts or gears are used. To build this class of Engine and Dynamo, over $150,000 have been invested in Philadelphia. The Inventor of the Engine has spent 20 years perfecting his engine to obtain such high speeds with economy and reliability, he has trained workmen etc so you see it would be impossible to make the Steam Dynamos in Switzerland or in any other country for some time, for, the establishing of the lighting of, say Geneva, all machinery must be sent from here with an expert thoroughly capable of superintending the erection of the plant for lighting 5 or more squre miles of a city. We are prefecting arrangements here for the manufacture of all apparatus on a large scale and will keep you posted regarding it and when we shall be able to take an order for one station lighting 1/2 a mile square in Geneva or elsewhere.






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