[LB027101], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Pennsylvania Railroad, Charles Edmund Pugh, November 21st, 1888


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[LB027101], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Pennsylvania Railroad, Charles Edmund Pugh, November 21st, 1888

Editor's Notes

] "With reference to the attached copy of a letter from Gen'l Superintendent Pettit, I send my Private Secretary + [unclear] to see you in regard to Phonoplex agreements, [unclear] were not in the city he went to Altoona {unclear] Mr. Hutchinson. ### I understood from correspondence we have had with Mr. Pettit that the portion of the Phonoplex contracts to which you obviously [unclear] part requiring you to recognize the validity of the patents. This is a [unclear] which I am quite willing to [unclear] and my secretary left with Mr. Hutchinson, to be forwarded later on to [unclear] through Mr. Petitt, a copy of the agreement from which the portion above referred to has been expunged, and which covers only the [unclear] periods of the understanding that at present [unclear] between myself and your Company, but which has not [unclear] official recognition. ### The Phonoplex [unclear] a number patented inventions [rest of sentence is unclear] that the extent to which each Company is entitled under use of them should be recorded in some tangible form, and it appears to me that your Company would only be serving its own interests by placing on record its right to use a system which will be more valuable to it as time goes on. ### I do not insist upon the execution of these agreements for want of faith that any verbal understanding I may have with you on behalf of your Company will be fully carried out; but because arrangements of this character are irregular, and, in my business at least [unclear], and because the establishment of such a precedent would serve to strengthen the position of others [marginalia unclear] with whom I may negotiate in the future and in whom I may not have the same amount of confidence. To permit the use of my inventions without requiring the users to obtain from my proper [unclear] can easily understand, lead to very serious complications and might furnish sufficient grounds for some one to attack my right to the invention in question. ### I would point out that the agreement which will be presented to you makes provision that the instant your Company ceases to use my inventions, all obligation to me is dispersed with—that is, the agreement is active only so long as you can use and derive benefit [unclear] Phonoplex System of Telegraphy." Yours very truly, [signed] TAE





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