[LB021396], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, March 13th, 1886


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[LB021396], Letter from Samuel Insull to Thomas Alva Edison, March 13th, 1886

Editor's Notes

[Addressed to "Florida!!"] I wired you immediately on receipt of your letter from Palatka, asking you if the documents which I sent you to St. Augustine [FLORIDA] had been remailed. I got no reply from you and am now wondering what has become of the stuff I sent to St. Augustine--amongst other things was an agreement providing for the issue of the Electric Railway Stock. It is essential that your signature should be got to this. Until this is received, everybody is kept waiting for their stock. If you have not got these letters, I hope you will send for them to the San Marco Hotel, execute the papers, and return to me with the greatest possible dispatch. ##Railway Telegraph: {underlined in original} ##I wired you that I had sold 140 shares of stock at $25. I am in hopes of selling some more, but I can't exactly understand whether I have your authority to sell over 200 shares. If you have received some of my letters sent to St. Augustine, I read your telegram dated Palatka as meaning that I can go ahead and sell above the 200 shares. If you have not received my letters, I read your telegram as meaning that I cannot sell the difference between 140 and 200 shares at less than $25. I may say that it is not my intention at the present moment to sell at less than $30, although a great deal will depend on the likely purchaser desiring to buy as hotly{?} as I desire to sell! ##I wish you would drop me a line in reply to the various letters I have sent you to St. Augustine, as I should like to hear from you definitely what I am to do after you have read my previous letters to you. ##The experiments from Chicago to Milwaukee are turning out successfully, although up to the last letter received from there by Dr. Crowell, {-------} communication had not been obtained between the train and stationary point. The trouble had something to do with leaks on the cars due to bad insulation, but are considered as mere detail troubles and they will be put right very shortly. ##Phonoplex {underlined in original} ##The two circuits on the B&O are running successfully and Bates has given instructions for a circuit to be put in between Baltimore and Harper's Ferry--a distance of 95 miles. He is going to send a man with Tate so as to get him posted with a view to their putting in their own circuits. After this will follow the putting in of the Postal Telegraph Co.'s circuits. Johnson has the matter in hand and is waiting the return of Mr. Chandler, who is out of town at the present time. I shall be able to deal with the foreign business without any trouble whatever. I have got one man in vew for part of the $25,000 which we need for foreign phonoplex{?} and I am inclined to think there will be no trouble in raising the whole of it, as the perfect working of the invention in actual practice makes it a comparatively easy matter. I have been thinking it over since you went away, and I believe that you would get more money out of France and Germany if you would put these two countries into the Company we propose forming. My idea is that inasmuch as the expense is merely that of an expert and the negotiations with the government will not require a wonderfully high order of business ability, that you will not require to make the big division of the royalties with a business representative that you have to in the case of other inventions. What I mean is that if you send a man to France and Germany on salary; if he exhibits the apparatus and it proves a success, the adoption of it by the government is a certainty--in fact, it is a necessity. Now, could not this work be done by an expert of this foreign company to better advantage than if you placed each of these two countries in the hands of a capitalist; made a big divvy with him because he supplies the money and understands the negotiation? This is only an idea of mine and of course I am working on the assumption that France and Germany will not be included in the Foreign Company. ##Electric Light {underlined in original} ##There is nothing much to tell you in Electric Light. Nothing has occurred in connection with the Uptown Station since you left, with the exception of a meeting Johnson had to talk over preliminary plans with the managers{?} of Shops and the Heads of Departments. I asked Johnson whether I could report anything to you and he said there was absolutely nothing to say. Central Station business is rather dull at the moment. Clarke, who used to be at Baltimore, is here negotiating on behalf of a syndicate, who propose to put up money for five or six stations in upper New York State right away. Whether anything will come of this, I can't say at the moment. I cannot give you the exact state of our work at Goerck{?} Street, as the temporary confusion consequent on uniting the books of the three corporations has thrown us a little back {----}. ##I shall be able to write you a full account of the Machine Works business this day {in a} week, as everything will be in order then. ##I have got a letter from Renshaw in relation to English phonograph. He is looking into the matter and has made a claim on Nottage's Executors, who received{?} 600 Pounds from the United Telephone Company for their rights under the Phonograph Agreement. Renshaw says that Nottage will probably claim that the disclaiming of the phonograph was a voluntary act on the part of your assignees (the Telephone Company) and that the amount paid Nottage was in liquidation of his contract rights. Renshaw says that as this point is a doubtful one, he would suggest that if Nottage disputes your claim, that he be asked to refer the question informally to the arbitration of any practical man patent agent by Counsel to be agreed upon. What do you say to this? ##I have been delayed on sending this letter to you as my joints are all tied up with what Chadhorn assures me is rheumatism. In fact, I would not be able to send this to you this morning but for Tate's kindness in taking it from dictation. I shall {---} you tonight asking what address will reach you if letters are mailed{?} Monday, as I think I shall have quite a good deal to send you by then. {signed along the side of the letter}




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