[LB008044], Letter from Samuel Insull to Horatio Nelson Powers, March 11th, 1881


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[LB008044], Letter from Samuel Insull to Horatio Nelson Powers, March 11th, 1881

Editor's Notes

Yours of 5th rcd; here is info you requested. "Mr. Edison has had his system of Electric Lighting in practical operation at Menlo Park for some months passed. The system has not up to the present been put up in any city but the lights are distributed at Menlo Park in such a manner as to demonstrate the practicability of lighting a city. All that Mr. Edison is waiting for now is the permit of the Board of Alderman NY to lay wires underground.... The editor of the Standard seems to forget that there is a great difference between commercial practicability and being scientifically perfect..... Over a year ago Mr. Edison had 100 lights burning three months and no less than 40,000 people went to see them. That was the scientific experiment.... As to Mr. Edison crying `wolf' so long I should have thought a newspaper editor would have known better than to have charged Mr. Edison with more than about 10 per cent of what has been put into his mouth.... The Standard says the use of the electric light is due to other man. So it may be: the electric light is not new, what is new however is the perfecting of a system of electric lighting which will in all respects take the place of gas and no one except Mr. Edison hassuccessfully solved this problem.... The Standard insinuates that the Edison Electric Light Co is a Stock Jobbing concern. As a matter of fact it is just the opposite.....when shares were quoted at $4000 not more than 25 shares passed hands. Besides the light experiments the ques[tion?] of the distribution of power by the [aid?] of small electric motors was [taken?] up and it became necessary to [raise?] more money.....As to Mr Edison's connection with the Western Union Telegraph Coy he had to find a market forhis telegraphic instruments and consequently was obliged to go to the people who controlled the telegraphic system for this country.... I would prefer your not saying the source where you got your information in any letters you may write to the Standard." PS "Mr. Edison does not control the E. E. L. Co."




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