[LB029180], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to George Edward Gouraud, April 20th, 1889


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[LB029180], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to George Edward Gouraud, April 20th, 1889

Editor's Notes

"Your letter under date 2d instant to Mr. W.J. Hammer, regarding the exhibition of the phonograph in Paris, has been referred to me. ### I wish you would examine two of your statements which I place parallel below:- ### EXTRACT FROM YOUR LETTER TO ME MARCH 26TH, 1889. ### "As it is desirable to have the phonograph exhibited in circumstances of absolute quiet… I purpose providing … some suitable place at a distance from the general exhibition… This of course will entail further heavy expenses which I expect to be covered by a small charge of admission to the general public … I quite understand that you shall not participate in the expense of this part of the exhibition for which I take the risk myself and any profits if there be such which I do not anticipate will be the case when all things are considered. [beginning of second abstract] EXTRACT FROM YOUR LETTER TO MR. HAMMER, APRIL 2, 1889. "I am of the opinion .. that it would be better to have the work of the phonograph, lectures, loud and low records &c. for the general public at some other place than in the exhibition itself, because we would thereby not only reduce but indeed entirely eliminate the question of expense for Mr. Edison and myself to bear as regards the phonograph exhibition and would besides have a large surplus to the balance in which latter I should be happy to give you a substantial interest for your personal supervision. ### [end of letter abstracts] ### You have represented to Mr. Hammer that the expense of the proposed outside exhibition of the phonograph was to be borne by you and myself jointly, and you also imply that I was to have been interested in the anticipated proceeds, notwithstanding the fact that you have proposed to me an entirely different arrangement, while your statement to Mr. Hammer regarding a 'large surplus' does not harmonize very well with the statement you previously made to me on the same subject. ### I do not bring this matter before you to discuss the proposition which it involves, as I have already notified you that I will not consent to anything of the kind, but I would like to know why you consider it necessary to misinform me upon any subject that is discussed between us. ### So far as Paris is concerned, I cabled you yesterday my decision to the affect that I will myself bear all the expense connected with the exhibition of the phonograph. I do this because I am determined to have my whole exhibit, including the phonograph, conducted upon a purely scientific basis, excluding all commercial and speculative elements, and I will not countenance an exhibition of the phonograph for money anywhere within the City of Paris during the time that the Universal Exposition is in progress. ### It would be much better if you and I could reconcile our ideas of business without any further delay, as at present they are very wide apart, and the seriousness of such a state of affairs must be apparent to you. ###




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