[X001M2AZ] Memorandum, c. 1889
Detroit E.M.F. at lamps averaged about 115 Dec. 27 p+std 117 - std 116.75 No complaint of arcing. 6, arced in parst month Dec. 27 Globe Tobacco uses two in series on 220 Detroit Co. measures R. of all meter bottles sent on and reports greatest regularity of results and are proud of the accuracy of meters. Grand Rapids also speaks in same tones of their meter system. I advised meters everywhere I went, especially at Dayton and Topeka. Mr. Gilbert is impressed with absence of petty faults area the neutral wire was grounded Grand Rapids Dec. 30, 1889, std Indicators both 108's, Lamps 106, E.M.F at lamps 106 to 111 5 arc lamps out of 500 broken in last lot complain of blacking of 100 c. and 500 lamps Heat from lamps used to dry meter plates in tin oven constructed for the purpose. Jackson, Michigan, Dec. 31, 1889. Prior to avg. last lamps were over 110 +111 volt lamps used. Bad regulation prior to Nov. 1 '89 whose system was overhauled since the life not so bad but still short of 600 hours. Management sums to me, on short acquaintances to be lacking in vigor. Station rather a make shift than an established permanent money making plant. Incandescent gas system has scared them so that they talk of selling out. Chicago capitalists are backing gas company on same plan as the Mechbach Co. Dayton, Ohio, January 1, 1890. Complain of lamps blacking "Lamps [xxx] during last three months give but half the life of lamps recure prior to that time. Standard Indicators sit at 108's volts. Lamps of 107 and 108 volts. Average pressure 109 volts. Average life 500 hours for lamps where lived beyond fist week. Prest. Of Dayton Co. has an erronous impression that the number of lamps broken each month in any Edison station should not exceed 15% of the number of lamp connected. Chicago, Ill. January 3rd, 1890. Edison Co. have made tests of life of lamps by setting up sets of 25 lamps at same pressure as is found on system, the record shows pressure and tiime of breakage of lamps Average life of lamps of all kinds, on station was given to me as follows: Aug 1889, 394 hours, September, 1889, 604 hours, October 1889, 589 hours, November 1889, 670 hours. 2457 total, 564 average for four mos. St. Oaul Minn. January, 4th 1890. Standard indicators sit at 112 volts. Pressure at lamps 110 to 114. In McMerren Block as high as 117 to 120. Few lamps arc, 15 found in past four months. More lamps have become broken in transit and handling than ever before known 15 of all lamps gave out "at once" balance gave about 500 hours life. Minneapolis, Minn, January 7th 1890. Lamps much better than for past six months. Of a lot of 500 lampsrec'd. in Nove. They claim 5% arc. Complaint made that Bergmann + Co. do not send them meters and that current is lost by the company. Sixty customers have neither meter nor contract and trouble is resulting. Kansas City makes same complaint Kansas City, Mo., January 10, 1890. Pressure set at 112 volts. Pressure at lamps 109 to 110's. Topeka, Kansas, January 14 1890. 5 comparatives burned out. 2 comparatives out of circuit. Old lamps averaged 700 hours. Standard pressure indicators set for 115 volts Lamps 110+110. Run at 110 to 116. Complaints of lamps blacking. Estimates that 5% of all lamps burned on with no life and that the balance gave 54 hours. (Mr. Kingo Figures) They have lost all faith in their meter system Topeka has many 110 volts motors. Management of Topeka Co. has lost faith in earning capcity of plant. I think the station management (Mr. King) is very weak and should be either reinforced by his company or replaced by a more competent manager. Topeka is a good town and should do better than it is. Denver Colo. Mr. R.H. Sterling Electrician is very well disposed toward the Edison Company and I believe he can be relied on to give Edison Lamps a fair trial. Correspondence with him direct will obtain no intelligent results than through Mr. Smith the Prest - who is new in the business and who is other cranky and close. Laramie, Ten, January 23rd, 1890. Feeder end forward at 112 to Std. pressure indicators on all feeders. Spent considerable time standardizing are instructing supt. In care of indicators sept, is bright and "enough on" easily had never been shown the first primary of care of indicators. Galvonmeter switch screw was tight-fitting in each indicators as result of non-use. "Automatic balancing wires" of Mr. R.M. Jones had all been cut off and system is no run as any ordinary Edison Station. The "automatic balancing system" as far as I could learn consisted in tying all feeders wires each other at all points there the end of me feeder being tied into the middle other feeders converted the feeders in one large feeder with slight drop as small first load of station but made trouble as their load increased with growth of business. Mr. Smith who succeeded Mr. Jones as supt. Finding the distribution in disorder gave the Edison Co. credit for knowing how to lay out a feeder system and removed Mr. Jones "automatic balancing wires" and greatly improved the pressure. Mr. Smith is now strengthening the mains between feeder ends that they may act as balance wires the feeders. Pressure standardized at 116, I charged standard to 115, Lamps in use 110, Average pressure 112's Regulation fair. Very little trouble from municipal system 175 lamps average 20 cp at 10 cents per mo per candle. Average $200 per mo. Per. Lamp. Meters all read last day of month thus. No meter man kept on pay roll, but all work is done in three or four days by three men. A fair place for small stations. But few meters have more than one bottle. Mr. Smith strikes me as a first class sept. and manager just the man for the place with good judgement and a cool head, capital 7,500.00. Dec. net profits $1100. Laramine is not a first town but by decreasing expenses and absence of competition the net results are good. Kearney, Neb. January 27, 1890. Station shut-down by ice during my visit. Started up about eight hours before I departed. 85 cents each charged for renewals. System of conductors calculated for 600 lamps but now operating 1400 to 1500 lamps. System is so popular that growth has out stripped capacity of dynamos. Life of lamps average 1000 hours but fell off about Nov. 1 at. Lamps of 110 volts used. Customs recently added were wholy supplied with lamps received in Oct. and among these customers the breakage was reunions. "Regular Stcok" 16 candle lamps. (New type 24s tested at 16 c) were first used at Kearney, and some are still in service and when paired with the new 16 lamp causes the latter to break rapidly. The Kearny Co. has broken many lamps from this cause. Lamps of 16 candles are smallest used I showed them a few advantages in using lamps of 4, 6, + 8 cp. Lamps found to differ in R. making as much as 10 volts difference in lamps in series. West Point Neb. January 29 1890, Plant started in July last with good lamps. About 400 lamps now connected. Two feeders and one pair of indicators which are switched from one feeder to the other, one set of equalizers on lights + feeder 500 lamps burned out since start. Daily run six hours. + indicators had charged so as to make pressure 5 volts above normal. Feeder ends standard at 107 volts, lamps in use are 104, highest pressure found at 107.
[X001M2AZ] Memorandum, c. 1889
Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
January 1, 1889