[LB022198], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Thomas Alva Edison, June 16th, 1886


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[LB022198], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Thomas Alva Edison, June 16th, 1886

Editor's Notes

Referring to the recent trouble reported in connection with our circuit running from "63 B'dway to 31st St. I beg to say that on Monday I went to the Main Office of the B&O and enquired of Mr Gardinier, [Chief? Inspector?] what the complant particularly had reference to. She said he was unable to tell what was the matter--the circuit would not work although it had received his personal attention, and the several tests he ahd made were unsuccessful. ## I had the phone thrown on the line--Found the workmen in the main office around Morse Key & relay disconnected. Everything else was in order and the circuit was clear to 31st St. I went up to the latter office--found the phone magneto adjusted so far down from diaphragm that it was impossible for signals to operate it. The office was unprovided with battery material, and an attempt had been made to work the circuit with two calls that had been partially renewed the previous Saturday, and four others which were lifeless on account of having been unattended to for over a week. I explained the adjustement of the phone to the operator in charge at 31st St. and showed him how he could always tell when it was in propoer working order. ## I then informed Mr Gardinier over the wire of the state of things in 31st St office--He said he would at once provide the necessary battery material to maintain the system. ## Yesterday (Thursday) I again visited the 31st St Office. No material had arrived and the weight on top of diaphragm had been screwed tightly [underlined] down, having no play whatever and destroying the effect of incoming signals. I again adjsuted it and again explained what was necessary to the Operator in Charge. ## This is but one of many instances which I have found in connection with the circuit, where through gross negligence and careless inattentions it has been avandoned. I have explained thoroughly and repeatedly to all those in the B&O Offices, who aught to be interested in its successful operation, the few adjustments that are required and they are quite familiar with the necessity of attending to batteries--but notwithstanding this the nenewal of batter at 31st St. has been neglected while for days the circuit has been abandoned for want of some simple adjustment in itself as obvious as the adjustment of a morse relay. ## The result of this has been that Mr Leslie, acting upon reports made to him from the operating room, has refused us a letter to the Gen'l Supt. at Chicago on the ground that the phonoplex is unsatisfactory. ## Whether it has injured us in other directions I am unable to say. ## I would also bring to your notice circumstances connected with the tests made by me on quad. wire between New York and Philadelphia. ## It is as you know necessary to introduce a resistance between the pole changer and polar relay. I found no difficulty in adjusting the Phila end of quad while using resistance that I varied, as high as [1100?] ohms--but New York stated it was impossible for him to adjust with only [180?] ohms in the "split". I am however perfectly satisfied with the electrical result of this test. The phone worked splendidly and we are quite prepared to equip quadruplex and duplex wires. Yours faithfully,




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