[LB027170], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Compagnie Continentale Edison, November 24th, 1888


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[LB027170], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Compagnie Continentale Edison, November 24th, 1888

Editor's Notes

"Your letter of October 16th last, addressed to The Edison Electric Light Co. of Europe, L't'd., in relation to two French patents which were granted me in the year 1887, - namely, No. 167662, under date December 17th, 1887, and Set 69, under date November 22, 1887, has been referred to me for reply. ### The first of these patents relates to incandescent lamps, designed to be used in series with one another and to employ currents of high tension. When lamps are used in this way, if the filament of a lamp breaks, an arc is usually formed by the high tension current across the broken filament, which are will, if it is not checked or broken, continue down the wires into the lamp, through the glass and down into the socket, and so destroy not only the lamp and its socket, but the continuity of the series circuit and extinguish all the other lamps in series. The object of the invention covered by the patent above referred to is, to provide a simple and effective form of cut-out for incandescent electric lamps, which will be operated by an arc itself, so as to short-circuit or cut out the lamp and maintain the circuit of the lamps in series with it. Your company can obtain a more complete description of this device by procuring copy of my French patent, which perhaps you have already done. That your Company were not notified that this patent had been taken out was simply the result of an oversight. It was not offered to any one else, nor did any one ask for permission to use the invention in France, and nothing else occurred to bring the matter to my attention. If you desire to acquire the patent, I should be glad to learn your wishes, when I will prepare a statement of expenses &c. connected therewith. ### With regard to the second patent, which [unclear] Article 4 of the Contract of November 5, 1886, between Cie. Continentale Edison, The Edison E. Lt. Co. of Europe L't'd. and myself, reads as follows:- [long quote follows] Mr. Edison undertakes to offer to the Compagnie Continentale Edison in the countries in which it has the right to work patents, all new inventions which he may make relating to electric light and to the transmission of motive power. ### The invention covered by the patent last referred to, relates to engines or prime motors. It is purely a generator of motive power. The contract above referred to provides that I shall offer to the Cie. Continentale Edison my invention [unclear] to the transmission of motive power, and it is apparent that you have conceived a mistaken idea that this last patent covers a method of transmission. If you will obtain a copy of this patent you will find that it does not relate to the transmission of motive power and therefore is not governed by treaty of the 5th of November 1886. Yours very truly, [signed] TAE




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