[LB040124], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Co, Benjamin F Stevens, April 21st, 1890


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[LB040124], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Co, Benjamin F Stevens, April 21st, 1890




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


April 21/90
F. Stevens Prest
Edison Phono Toy Mfg Co
Boston Mass
Dear Sir:
I enclose herewith
(a) Letter from W.W. Jacques to the Edison Phono Toy Mfg Co under date 24th inst relating to his British patent #202507 Dec 17/89
(b) Jacques British Patent last referred to attached to which is a copy of his United States Application the same being identical with the specification covered by his British patent [illegible]
(c) A report which I have prepared upon the above subjects and which if approved by you requires your signature to complete it after which it is ready for presentation presentation to the Board at the next meeting.
In addition to being ahead of Mr. Jacques in the filing of applications and the issue of patents Mr. Edison can prove absolutely by at least a half dozen witnesses that the improvements claimed by Mr. Jacques as of his invention were invented and applied to the Toy phonograph movement by Mr. Edison himself.
Never before in the history of our business has such a deliberate attempt been made to steal an invention and the Directors of the Toy Phonograph Company will be neglectful of the interests entrusted to them if they fail to take such steps as may be necessary to place.
Mr. Jacques outside the circle within which he now has access to the Company's records and a knowledge of the deliberations of its representatives, all of which is as clearly proves by the case in question he will not hesitate to use for the advancement of his personal interests.
On the 19th of October 1889 Messrs Dyer + Seely addressed a letter to your Company in regard to certain improvements in the construction of the toy movement to which was attached a drawing and copy of claims regarding foreign patents. Not hearing from you they applied to me to learn the the cause of the company's silence and on the 27th November I wrote to the Secretary McField for an explanation and he replied as follows:-
" your favor of 27th with copy of letter from Messrs Dyer + Seely has been received. This is the first time that this letter has come before the officers of this Company (except the ex-President) and upon consultations with McField it is decided that it is the desire of this company that you apply and take out patens in foreign countries for all your improvements in Toy Phonographs +c +c"
In other words Mr. Jacques the ex-President referred to received these papers and suppressed them at a time when he was simply a Director in the Company and had absolutely no right to open letters addressed to the Company's officials.
In connection with Great Britain I would recall to your mind the fact that on the 9th December last having learned that Mr. Jacques had mailed certain applications to his London attorneys, we instructed Messrs Dyer and Seely to cable to London a specification for Mr. Edison's British patent which was filed the next day December 10th in the British Patent Office just one week before Mr. Jacques application was filed Had we been less alert Mr. Jacques British patent would have antedated Mr. Edison's and notwithstanding the fact that we are able to prove Mr. Jacques has no title to the inventions claimed by him, and has been guilty of something very like perjury in taking oath to an untruth, it would have consumed considerable time and money to have obtained a final decision in the courts and meanwhile the false light in which he would been placed before the British public would have seriously prejudiced our interests.
Mr. Jacques has been given given every opportunity to withdraw for a position whose occupancy can only be attended by loss of respect and honor, and has not only failed to avail himself of the chance afforded him but has persisted in menacing the interests and property of the Edison Phono. Toy Mfg Co. in a way which leaves but one course do but simple justice by requesting Mr. Jacques to submit his resignation as one of the Company's Trustees.
Yours very truly
A.O. Tate
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