[LB030168], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to George Edward Gouraud, June 1st, 1889


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[LB030168], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to George Edward Gouraud, June 1st, 1889

Editor's Notes

[SELECTABLE] I have received your letters of May 4th, replying to mine of the [18th?] and 20th of April, and am very much obliged for the explanations which you make both as to your policy and your motives. It is your first attempt to familiarize me with the work which you have been conducting, and the fault is your own that I have arrived at conclusions based upon information received from other sources. That this information was unmixed with malice towards yourself I have no doubt. The conclusions arrived at in so many directions were too unanimous to admit of that idea. In my letters to you I did not condone any specified part of your policy. I said that I considered some of your arrangements were excellent, and I had in mind the lectures of yourself and your assistants before the Scientific Societies of England and France, my approval of which is evident by the assistance I have extended to you in your preparations for them. At this distance it would be quite impossible for me to point to that particular part of your policy which agitated a wave of very adverse criticism on the part of the public abroad, and which when it reached me here convinced me of what my duty was both to you and to myself, more especially as you were on the verge of committing in indiscretion in connection with the Paris Exposition which we would both have had cause to regret. I am sorry to see that no where in your correspondence d o you admit this error of judgment upon your part, but instead you relate the use to which the old machine was put upon a similar occasion years ago, and for which I personally was in no way responsible. Perhaps if at that time I had had in Europe a personal representative having my better interests at heart, the exhibition to which you refer, and many other mistakes as well, would never have been made. I intend, so far as I am able, to protect myself against a repetition of these things in the future. I appreciate fully the trouble you have encountered through the attempts of exhibitors of the old instrument to steal your thunder, all of which you doubtless find as difficult to control as the vagaries of a comic journal. It is more than unfortunate that you [should be annoyed?] in this way, and I think the steps which you have taken to acquaint the public with the true state of affairs are in the right direction and will, if they have not already done so, accomplish your object, in which I feel deep interest. There is one thing which I am very pleased to note in your recent correspondence, and that is, that you are contemplating real business. The North American people have covered all their territory, with the exception of Alaska, and I see no reason why our progress in Europe should be delayed. Phonographs are ready for you whenever you want them; you have excited public interest abroad to as high a pitch as can possibly be reached in fact everything is ripe for immediate action, as you have yourself stated, and I hope to see the commercial side of the phonograph take shape in the countries under your control, with consistent dispatch.##I have not yet had an opportunity to give thought to the brief outline which you have submitted, regarding your program and plan of campaign, but will consider it to-morrow and communicate with you early in the week.




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