[LB023082], Letter from Samuel Insull to Francis Robbins Upton, November 9th, 1886


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[LB023082], Letter from Samuel Insull to Francis Robbins Upton, November 9th, 1886

Editor's Notes

I have written to Mr. Moore suggesting that you should see Mr. Preece with in relation to the Phonoplex. You can doubtless give Preece technical information which Moore is unable to give. In talking with Moore as to the method of dealing with Preece, please speak as frankly and as openly as if you will very quickly find, and will doubtless follow out suggestions which you can make to him. What we want to do is to sell the Phonoplex to the British Post Office. We will either make an agreement with them, by which the Post Office will pay Mr. Edison a royalty on each circuit installed, or we will sell it for a lump sum. Mr. Moore has all the figures in relation to this matter in letters addressed to him either by Mr. Edison or myself. ## I have had considerable correspondence with the Edison-Swan United Electric Light Co. with relation to the patents taken out in England since Mr. Edison signed his agreement with the old English Edison Company. Mr. Edison has spent upwards of $18.000, on patent fees paid to Dyer and to Hand(???) and to the British Patent Office. Then English Edison Company have the right to take over these patents, providing they pay double the amount of money spent on experiments which is $5,000 and the amount of his patent bills. I have waived Mr. Edison's right to double the amount of the experimental account, providing they will pay us the total amount he has paid in patent fees, namely, the $13,000 above referred to. I do not ask them to pay this in cash, but propose the following disposition of the matter. The Edison Machine Works has orders from the old Edison Company for six old central station dynamos. Of these dynamos, two have been delivered, leaving four which the Machine Works is holding for account of the Edison Company, or rather of their successors, the Edsion-Swan Company. Of these four dynamos the Edison Company has paid as part payment a little over $33,000. I have proposed that Mr. Edison's patent bill should be debited to the Edison Company on this advance account, which would dispense with their having to pay any money out of pocket until such time as the four dynamos are delivered to them. ## When Lord Anson was here a few months ago I represented to him very strongly the advisability of elling these dynamos at a reduced price. Of course you understand that the old contract price for the dynamos has got to be paid by the English Edison Company, and that any less from selling them at a reduced price must be borne by that company and not by the Machine Works. We have an oppurtunity of selling one dynamo to Milan, and if we could only find out the lowest price that the London people would be willing to take for one of the machines we doubtless could make a sale for their accounts. It is simply a question of how much they are prepared to lose. If I can once get this old patent account of of the way by settling it in the method outlined above, I propose to go for the Edison, London Company and insist upon their taking the dynamos off our hands. Of course I do not want them to know this--in fact, the whole of the above is given for your personal information. They will doubtless talk to you in relation to the matter, as a letter is going forward to them in Mr. Edison's name by this mail. I have not told them in that letter that we have an opportunity to sell one of the machines to Milan, nor do I wish you to toell them, except to talk to them in a general manner and hint that it is possible that we can find a market for one of their machines and possibily more. Lord Anson throughly undertands that these machines are now obsolete. When I told him this I tried to "gloss the pill" as well as I could. You will see from the above that the position of the Machine Works is a good one. They have received $33,000 on account of $40,000 worth of work, and they still have the work in their hands. The only inconvenience to them is that they are unable to settle up a very old matter. Mr. Edison's position is a different one. He is out some $13,000. There is no possibility of getting cash out of the Edison Company for this amount, but there is a possibility that they will agree to their advances on the dynamo account being reduced by the amount of Mr. Edison's account. Then the position of the Edison Machine Works will be still better than it is today, as they will have dynamos (which require very little work on them) in their hands, on which they will then have received $20,000 advances (the $33,000 having been reduced by Mr. Edison's patent account and they will also have the dynamos..## I have offered to the Edison London Company to cancel that part of Mr. Edison's agreement which provides fro the method in which the Edison Company can acquire Mr. Edison's patent for a given period. Of course I propose that the period over which their option to acquire patents shall remain the same, but Mr. Edison is willing to send them over applications for such patents he may apply for hours, providing that they will engage Dyer, or some other lawyer suitable to Mr. Edsion, to draw such applications here, the English Company paying Dyer's fees for such work, which would be 10-10-0. ## I think these are the only matters that we have unsettled in London at the present time. The above points will doubtless prepare you, so that when Flood Page starts to tabout the matter you will be able to discuss it intelligently.




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