[LB047275], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Sherburne Blake Eaton, February 9th, 1891


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[LB047275], Letter from Alfred Ord Tate to Sherburne Blake Eaton, February 9th, 1891




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


February 9, 1891.
Major S. B. Eaton,
#120 Broadway,
New York City.
Dear Sir:-
Referring to your letter of 7th instant to Mr. Edison, I beg to submit the following information in reply to your queries.
(1) There is a balance in the treasury of the Edison Phonograph Company of $417.03.
(2) On the 8th day of July, 1889 a check for $5,000 was deposited in the German National Bank of Newark, N. J., to the credit of the Edison Phonograph Company. This check was received by Mr. Insull and forwarded to the Bank by him in Mr. Edison's name. He has since informed me that it was a payment made by the Boston Toy Company on account of royalty, but the written records describing the payment are in his possession.
(3) A complete statement to January 1, 1891, of Laboratory experiments has been sent to the North American Company.
The Edison Phonograph Works have not yet rendered their statement. They are still engaged in making up their books and the statement will not be ready until the beginning or middle of next month. The arrangement is that it will be prepared during Mr. Insull's absence, but will not be submitted until his return. In a letter which I received from him to-day he advises me that he will not be home until the first week in March.
(4) There is no record in this office of a letter from Mr. Edison to Mr. Lippincott, informing the latter that there were no outstanding claims against the Edison Phonograph Company and that it had no creditors. I do not believe that any such letter was ever written or that the statement was ever verbally made by Mr. Edison or any one connected with him. The first section of the contract of October 28th, 1887 between T. A. Edison and the Edison Phonograph Company provides that the latter shall pay the cost of obtaining Letters Patent in the United States and the Dominion of Canada, together with all costs and charges incurred in experiments The first bill for patents was rendered by Dyer & Seely during the month of July, 1888, since which time further bills have been rendered, amounting in all to about eleven thousand dollars up to December, 1890. The Edison Phonograph Company has paid on account of these bills the following amounts:
October 21, 1889 ----------------- $1,500.00
December 19, 1889 ---------------- 1,500.00
August 6, 1890 -------------------- 1,582.97
Total $4,582.97
This leaves in the Treasury of the Edison Phonograph Company the balance referred to in the foregoing of $417.03. Mr. Edison has paid on account of the same bills three thousand dollars odd, which leaves a balance due Dyer & Seely of about $2,800. In addition to the amount owed Mr. Edison by the Edison Phonograph Company for payments by him on account of patents ($3000 odd), the Edison Phonograph Company owes him about twenty-three thousand dollars on Experimental account. These experiments cover his work from the date of this contract, October 28th, 1887, to the date of the contract between T. A. Edison, North Am. Phonograph Co., and Jesse H. Lippincott, dated August 1, 1888, in which the North American Company assumes the experimental accounts.
(5) The Edison Phonograph Works own 500 Graphophones. These are all new and are presumably in good condition, ready for sale. Of course we would have to test each one before it left the factory. The Works got them all from the Hartford Graphophone Factory.
(6) I notice that in your report to Mr. Edison, dated 5th instant, you ask this same question, and I also notice that Mr. Edison does not answer it, but refers in the reply which he makes to another matter entirely. The situation is this: The Edison Phonograph Works shipped certain machines to local companies on the order of the North American Phonograph Company, which machines were billed against the latter when the[y] left the factory. Some of these have from time to time been returned to the factory for repairs, the cost of this work being charged against the North Am. Phonograph Co. Early in January Mr. Insull arranged with the North American Phonograph Co. that they should remit weekly the amount of these repair bills, which they have been doing. Prior to this arrangement there are large amounts charged against the N. A. P. Co. for repairs which are still outstanding. The Edison Phonograph Works inform me that they received instructions from Mr. Edison not to ship any of these repaired machines unless the North Am. Phono. Co. was willing to pay the Works the price of a new machine for each repaired machine shipped. Mr. Edison did not mean to charge the N. A. P. Co. $45 apiece for machines with which they had already been billed; but he wanted them to assist the Edison Phonograph Works financially and made the shipment of repaired machines the basis upon which to state the amount that they should remit. That is, if 20 repaired machines were shipped during one week, Mr. Edison wanted a remittance of $900, to apply on general account, and he instructed the Works not to ship these repaired machines on the North Am. Phonograph Co’s order unless they assented to this arrangement, and he has not up to this time withdrawn these instructions.
I am very much obliged to you for referring to me the enclosed papers.
Yours very truly,
AO Tate
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