[LB020199D], Letter from Samuel Insull to Edison Lamp Co, Francis Robbins Upton, March 23rd, 1885


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[LB020199D], Letter from Samuel Insull to Edison Lamp Co, Francis Robbins Upton, March 23rd, 1885

Editor's Notes

"Referring to my conversations with you as to Mr. Edisons contract obligations and their bearing on your right to sell abroad, I beg to enclose you herewith a copy of the English contract, from which you will see that Mr. Edison has assigned all rights in Great Britain to the Edison Electric Light Co., of London, and it is therefore impossible for you to sell lamps in Great Britain, except through that Co. A contract of a similar nature was entered into with the Edison Indian & Colonial Electric Co., with relation to the British Colonies of Australasia, The Cape, which includes all the English Colonies in extreme Southern Africa, and this contract also covers India and Ceylon. The other countries in Asia are perfectly free, and you can sell your lamps in them without any limitation whatever. I have not got an exact copy of the Indian & Colonial contract, but you can assume that it is of the same nature as the English contract, as both of them were drawn by the same lawyers. The Compagnie Continentale Edison, of Paris, controls France and the French Colonies, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria & Hungary, Russia, Italy and Spain. You already have a translation of the agreement with this Co., under the contract which the Compagnie Continentale Edison have made the German Co. and the Italian Co. I understand that these sub-companies have the right to buy their lamps wherever they choose. That is they are not compelled to buy them from the Societe Industrielle, at Ivry, but can come to you deal if they see fit. It will be the policy of this Compagnie Continentale to withold this right from any other sub-company which they may form, as it is there desire, as you well know, to control the lamp business for their Ivry factory. Mr. Edison has also a contract with Biederman and some friend of his with relation to Switzerland must be sold to this Swiss Co. I am under the impression that you are constantly in communication with this Co. and know the exact name of it. The rest of Europe is entirely free to you. The Paris Co. has no possible claim upon upon the slave principalities of Southeastern Europe, Greece, Turkey, Norway and Sweden, Portugal, Holland &c. Mre Edison has a contract with Drexel, Morgan & Co. for Portugal and Norway and Sweden, but inasmuch as nothing whatever has been done in these countries under that contract no restriction will be placed on you, so far as the sale of lamps in these countries are concerned. Inasmuch, however, as Drexel, Morgan & Co. have spent quite some money in patent expenses in these countries, if you can add a royalty on to the price of your lamp, to be placed to the credit of Drexel, Morgan & Co., in order to wipe out their expenditure, as above referred to, it would be desireable to do so. This, however, is to a certain extent optional with you, and you can proceed to do business in these three countries, until Drexel, Morgan & Co. choose to stop you, which is quite a remote contingency."




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