[MU018], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Elijah Wood Upton, June 22nd, 1879


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[MU018], Letter from Francis Robbins Upton to Elijah Wood Upton, June 22nd, 1879

Editor's Notes

I have broken my usual rule today, for I have been working nearly all this Sunday. Mr. Edison has been very hared at work on his new telehone receiver during the past week, and had succeeded in getting it into very good order. He has been working night and day and I have been up two nights and part of four. He sees about $100,000 in cash to come to him from England if he gets it to work satisfactorily. He has 2/3 of this clar after he has paid such shares as he had given away. I had a talk with him this afternoon and he spoke of five per cent on the electric light, he did not make me a direct offer but hinted that I might have so much. He said that he would give it me the same as he gave to Mr. Batchelor only half the amount he gets. It will be five per cent of the profits, yet I shall have no paper except that my name will be placed on the agreement he has entered into with the electric light Co. I take no risk beyond losing my time for a year or two for it is not a partnership, Mr Edison runs all risk puts in all the money and gives me five per cent on all his sales clear. There is about $100,000 worth of property here and some twenty to thirty men employed so I think five per cent on the total product is a fair show. I think with some pertinancity I could get him to make is [sic] seven and a half, for he is very easy in such matters, yet as it is pure generosity on his part I think it is not becoming in me to try and jew him. Besides if I grumble perhaps he may say no. This is what I come in for, fifty shares of Electric light stock, worth today over $100, free from assessment. This comes to me immediately but of course not or me to sell. Then when the Electric light is accepted $5,000 in cash and $1500 a year for 17 years, so why should I find any fault with my chances. I am going to say yes, I will take five per cent, would not you? The only trouble in the arrangement is that the light is not yet out and far form perfection, yet as I am only geting $600 a year I do not lose much f I go two years without pay. I do not say I can get five per cent, yet things look that way."
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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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