[LB014202], Letter from Samuel Insull to Egisto Paolo Fabbri, October 4th, 1882


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[LB014202], Letter from Samuel Insull to Egisto Paolo Fabbri, October 4th, 1882

Editor's Notes

I beg to enclose you herewith at the request of Mr Johnson, copies of Mr Edisons recent correspondence with Mr Arnold White Secretary of the Edison Electric Light Co London. This correspondence must be taken in conjunction with the letters received from Mr White by Mr Johnson Mr Edisons letters, you will doubtless consider very severe but I thought when I wrote them & still think that we were fully justified in adopting a somewhat extreme tone in addresssing Mr White considering the very unjust claims made upon Mr Edison, the insinuations and reflections White cast upon him & Whites evident attempt to act towards us in a very "sharp" manner.##I do not know whether you propose while in Europe to go with Electric Light matters to any extent with the London Co but if you do there are two points in the Contract which require revision.##The clause as to supply of lamps should be altered as in its present form it must cause considerable controversy between the London Coy & Mr Edison. The price set on lamps is 50 cents for "Isolated" purposes & 40 cents for "General Distribution" purposes. Mr White construes this as meaning that we are to supply all lamps of whatever candle power or economy at these prices. This may probably be the legal interpretation of the Contract but at the time this clause was discussed we took it as applying to the lamps we were then making i.e. the ordinary 8 & 16 candle power lamps. Evidently the London Co took the same view as they wrote us for prices of other forms of lamps which we were not then manufacturing. This clause must be altered or else it will prejudice Mr Edisons interests as well as those of the London Co in the future. You can well understand that Mr Edison may strike somethng good in the line of a High Resistance lamp. Such a lamp might be an expensive article of manufacture but yet a very cheap lamp to use as it would greatly lessen investment in plant. [How] t is extremely short sighted on the part of the London Co to demand all lamps at the same low price as should he persist in such a course it would simply discourage Mr Edison from experimenting with a view to getting higher resistance lamps as such lamps will in all probability be more costly than are the present standard lamps. Besides this Mr White claims that all lamos must be furnished at 40 & 50 cents whether 16 or 100 candle power now this is ridiculous & Edison has simply refused to supply lamps (except the standard 8 & 16 candle lamps) at the prices named.##2nd. There is the question of who shall bear the expense of taking out future patents. It would be better if the Company would undertake to pay the expenses right from the start & so save Edison from waiting for cash paid for patent fees for months. He is at present about $2500 out of pocket on this account.##Hoping that your trip over has been pleasant & that your stay in Europe will greatly benefit you I remain




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