[LB018444], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Edward Hibberd Johnson, Edison Electric Light Co, September 30th, 1884



With relation to the Central Station Plant installed at Sunbury and the alterations now contemplated and your request that I should state what I am willing to contribute towards the expense of same I think it well to lay before you the exact facts relating to my transactions with the Sunbury Co.##In May 1883 Mr P. B. Shaw brought me a contract signed by the Edison Electric Illuminating Co of Sunbury which called for the installation by me of a 500 Light Plant (ten candle lamps). No definite price was stated in the contract nor was any estimate made by me. It was simply stipulated that I should not charge the Sunbury Co any more than any other customer. Mr Shaw assured me that the Sunbury Co had ample funds to pay for the Plant. The total cost of the Plant without any profit whatever was $13335.69. To this I was of course entitled to add a reasonable profit but instead of doing so I rendered a bill for $11,968 being $1367.69 less than the actual cost of the labor and material. I did this because the Sunbury Plant was the first installed and because I was very anxious to give the business of your Company a fair start in Pennsylvania.##Instead of getting my account settled immediately the Contract called for payment I was unable to get from the Sunbury Company any payment beyond $5,500 notwithstanding that, at the time I took the Contract, Mr Shaw informed me that the Company was quite able to pay for the Plant. Finding that the Company had not got the funds to satisfy my claim I agreed to take the balance due me in the Capital Stock of the Company. I was entitled to $6500 of Stock besides a small amount of the Promoters Stock. The Company delivered me $4100 of Stock and promised delivery of the balance as soon as the Capital Stock could be increased from $16,000 to $20,000. The Stock was increased and I applied for the balance but was put off with the excuse that the Directors were trying to sell the Stock so as to pay me (about $2400) in cash. I have never been able to get this balance either in Cash or Stock.##I will not comment upon the treatment of myself by the Sunbury Company after the liberal manner in which I acted towards them when installing their Plant but will leave you to draw your own conclusions with reference to your enquiry as to what amount I will allow (in consideration of the bad state of the present Central Station) towards building another Station in a more central location I would state that providing the Sunbury Co are prepared to pay me in cash for the balance of my account I will make an allowance of an amount equal to what it would cost to put the present building in a thorough state of repair.








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[LB018444], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Edward Hibberd Johnson, Edison Electric Light Co, September 30th, 1884

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


September 30, 1884

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