[LB062053], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Edison Electric Illuminating Co (New York), October 8th, 1895


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[LB062053], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Edison Electric Illuminating Co (New York), October 8th, 1895




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


Oct. 8th, 1895.
To the Board of Directors of the Edison Electric Illuminating Co. of New York. New York, N. Y.,
In 1886 when your first station was erected and started by myself, the business management was carried on by officers selected by the Company. After running several months, it was found that the Company was gradually drifting towards bankruptcy, losing about $2000. per month. I then stated to the board that I believed I could run the Company and make it a financial success, if they would permit me to select men to run the station, to which they agreed, all of which I believe you will find upon your minute books. Upon receiving authority, I bargained with Mr. Chas. E. Chinnock, then Superintendent of the Metropolitan Telephone Co., to take hold of the concern and pull it through. Mr. Chinnock would not accept the position for the salary paid by the Company, as he was then receiving more money, and I offered that if he would take charge at the regular salary, and if inside of one year after taking charge it would reach a point where the station should be earning at the rate of 5% on $600,000., that I would give him $10,000. The records of the Company will show that he did more than this, and I paid him the money, and the Company raised his salary. What I ask is that this sum should be refunded to me, as it is truly chargeable to constructive expences, of the pioneering period. I may mention that for nearly two years I worked for the Company, having personally laid and inspected every tube and joint of the under-ground system, all of which were laid at night, and in addition I superintended the erection of every part of the station, working for months at a time, twenty hours a day, all of which was no part of my duties under any contracts with either the Illuminating or Light Co. I have never received a salary or any compensation whatever for this work, but think I should be reimbursed the actual money paid Mr. Chinnock. I have spoken several times to the late Mr. J. Hood Wright, and I believe once or twice to Mr. C. H. Coster about it, but not having pressed the matter, nothing has been done. I am now engaged in another great pioneering enterprise, and owing to the usual and normal skepticism of mankind, I am compelled to depend upon my own resources, and am therefore reluctantly compelled to ask of you what I now do.
Yours very truly,
Thomas A Edison
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