[LB026160], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Francis Robbins Upton, January 3rd, 1888


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"During the past few days my attention has been called to the condition of our Japanese and Corean business through the presence of two gentlement from Japan in search of an Electric Light plant. ### I find that our estimates are so loaded down with commissions that it is absolutely impossible for us to compete with other Manufacturers even when all due weight is given to the superiority of the Edison Systems. ### These Japanese people are awakening to the fact that they can purchase material in the open market at very much lower prices than are quoted by the representatives of the Edison business in Japan and unless some action is taken at once it will result in our losing a large amount of business. ### I also notice that our estimates are overburdened with material—as an instance of which I would mention that the estimate handed these Japanese gentlemen by Messrs. Frazaar & Co of China, included 4 wooden base frames for dynamos—price $64.00. They could make these in Japan and save about $50.00. ### My idea in regard to this business is that all material should be furnished at as favorable prices as are given in the open market and commissions obtained by means of special discounts. ### These goods are paid for before they leave New York and now that the Japanese people are becoming acquainted with the market we ought to establish a more reasonable basis upon which to conduct our business in that country than that which exists now." Yours truly, [signed] TAE









Folder Set



[LB026160], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Francis Robbins Upton, January 3rd, 1888

Microfilm ID



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