[LB014482], Letter from Samuel Insull to William McCrory, Minneapolis Lyndale and Minnetonka Railway, November 29th, 1882



Your favor of 21st inst with cutting from the "Minneapolis Tribune" came duly to hand.##Mr. Edison makes it a rule not to answer adverse comments and misstatements of facts, but has suggested that I should write you pointing out the errors into which Dr. Perris has fallen##1st Dr. Perris says the Edison system of Electric Rail Road lacks economy but fails to give his authority for such an assertion. As a matter of fact tests are being daily made under all possible conditions to prove the exact economy of the Edison system over steam locomotion and the results so far have been most favorable.##2nd Dr. Perris says that a third rail is necessary. This is not so. At Menlo park we have a track two and a half miles in length and there are only two rails which are used as the conductors.##3rd Dr. Perris says that if a horse or man gets his foot upon the rails the shock is instant death. Our experimental track at Menlo Park crosses a country road very much used and during last Summer I frequently driven a very restive horse over the tracks whilst the Rail Road was being operated without the slightest inconvenience. Our men are frequently working on the track whilst the rails are charged with the electric current and of necessity have to touch the rails, but in as much as our current is of comparatively low pressure it is impossible for any such accidents as Dr. Perris depicts to occur.##4th Dr. Perris says that "when you produce electricity by steam and then use the current to drive machinery you lose a great deal of power." But he omits to state that with a locomotive steam engine the power obtained is far more expensive than with a Stationary Steam Engine and in as much as Mr. Edison uses the latter he has a large margin to work on to make up for the lose occasioned by the conversion of power into electricity and back into power again.##Mr. Edison's motor is not "lying on an old heap of scrap iron discarded" but is being used daily for experimental purposes.##Dr. Perris remarks show his total ignorance of Mr. Edison's Electric Rail Road and I would suggest that he should enquire into what Mr. Edison has done before making assertions such as those referred to.##You may make what use of this letter you please








Folder Set



[LB014482], Letter from Samuel Insull to William McCrory, Minneapolis Lyndale and Minnetonka Railway, November 29th, 1882

Microfilm ID



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

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