[X184B2], Letter from Margaret Storm (Mrs Francis R.) Upton to Helen (Mrs Edward) Storm, August 14th, 1889


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[X184B2], Letter from Margaret Storm (Mrs Francis R.) Upton to Helen (Mrs Edward) Storm, August 14th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[From the Hotel du Rhin, Place Vendome, Paris] My Dear Mother: ## By this time you have received my steamer letter and know what a delightful voyage we had. When we reached the harbor of Havre Sunday morning about nine o'clock one of the small steam yachts belonging to the French line came out to meet Edison, having on board a number of the Edison people--Among them the president of the Companie Generale Edison of France, Mr. Dyer, Mr. Tate, and Mr. Hammer, and several frenchmen whose names I cant remember. No one was expecting them, so none of us were on deck to receive them, and were not conscious of their presence until they appeared in the dining saloon. They gave Edison a most cordial greeting and we came in for our share of it too. We had a special compartment on the train from Havre to Paris. In it were Mr. & Mrs. Edison, Mr. Tate, his secretary, Mr. Lewis, one of his lawyers, Mr. Porgeous, the President of the French Company and his daughter, Frank and myself. Nothing of special interest occurred until we stopped for twenty minutes at Rouen. There the Consul General of America was waiting to greet Edison, and offer him the city's hospitality and his own services. It was most gracefully done--but in twenty minutes we were spinning away to Paris, where we arrived at three-thirty. At the station waiting for us were Mr. Robert L. Cutting of New York--and Mrs. Edisons two sisters and a lot more of the Edison people. Four fine carriages all in livery had been provided for our party and we drove over to the Hotel in fine style. Frank had written for one room for us, so you can imagine our surprise, on being shown into a gorgeous suite of apartments--right next the Edisons. Our apartment consists of a gorgeous Salon--all done in red velvet and gold and mirrors on all sides, three bed rooms, a dining room, and little private hall. The most superb gold candelabra, and crystal chandeliers adorn the Salon, and we are simply in clover up to our necks. Every morning we have a dainty little dejeuner, by ourselves, beautifully served, and are waited on to absolute perfection. We found superb flowers in our rooms, from Mrs. Edison's sisters, Mr. Dyer, and some one filled a beautiful jardinier with white chrysanthemums and hydrangeas, but I havent yet discovered who. Our windows look out on the Place Vendome and are directly opposite where the Prince of Wales stays when he is in Paris. The Edisons of course have a finer apartment than ours. As fine as any in Paris., but we have access to it and them at any hour. The day we arrived, Mr. Tate left word for no more cards to be sent up till the next day, so we were undisturbed till Monday noon. We have had a number of calls, but not of course as many as the Edisons. Monday noon Mr. Hammer came for us and we took the Edisons cards and our own and left them at the American Minister's Mr. Reids. Yesterday he returned the call in person, but we were all out. We drove on Monday out to the Exhibition buildings, and Mr. Hammer went with us to get a birds-eye view of it--Returning at four o clock, and we gave out first dinner party that night. Frank invited four gentlemen to dine with him, making a party of six, and I the only lady. We had it served in our own little dining room. The guests were Maj. Page, an English gentleman the head of the Edison Comp. in England, a typical Londoner, and very charming. Mr. Lieb, the head of the Edison Comp. in Italy, living at Milano, Mr. Hammer and Mr. Dyer. It seemed to me one could seldom find five more elegant and agreeable men together, than these with Frank, made. Being out first dinner party, I felt some anxiety about it, but Frank has expressed himself as very much pleased with everything about it. We had a fine dish of fowl in the centre of the Table and bon bons & fancy cakes to [------] with besides, [----------] for the men. The dinner was faultlessly served, by two men, and as faultlessly cooked. We had claret and seltzer, and Champagne frappe, with the dinner. The coffee was daintily served in the Salon, and the Licquers with it afterwards, Cognac & Chartreuse. I wore my wedding dress, and of course the men their dress suits. After they all left, about ten o'clock Frank and I took a fly, and drove for nearly an hour, along the Boulevard, to see the city illuminated. Yesterday we had a most memorable day. We were invited to visit the Eiffel Tower, which is pronounced F.-L. M. Eiffel is in Vienna, so he deputized his son in-law, M. Salles, and M. Lyon the Chief of Engineers, to give Mr. Edison and his party a reception at the tower. We left here before nine o'clock, and were received at the foot of the tower by the gentlemen named. An elevator was reserved for us, and soon we were on the higest landing stage. Here Mr. Eiffel's Sister, a maiden lady introduced herself, a typical aristocratic French woman of fifty or more years. She was accompanied by an attendant in livery, with immense silver buttons with the Eiffel monogram on. We were invited after gazing a long time at the magnificent view, into M. Eiffels private salon up there, and after the daintiest luncheon you ever saw, of chicken and trouffle sandwiches not an eight of an inch think, cakes & bon-bons and the finest of wines which Madamoiselle Eiffel poured for the guests, we listened to some lovely music by three of the finest musicians in Paris, a flutist, violinist, and singer. A phonograph had been carried up there, and these musicians performed in front of it. The sound was registered, and then all the guests had the pleasure of hearing it repeated as often as they chose. As there were numerous tubes attached to the instrument, several could listen at once. It was a most delightful affair. There were thirty in the party, among them Comte Primoli & Comte & Comtesse de Mareuil, Russell Harrison, and six or seven members of the Legion of Honor of France. Every one pays homage to Edison. The day he arrived the papers all had long articles calling him, His Majesty Edison, Edison the Great, Vive l'Edison. After the musicale was over, we descended by slow degrees, stopping at every landing stage. [------] in the view, and when we reached the 2d stage, M. Salles and M. Lyon invited us to a very fine dejeuner. I was given the seat of honor next Edison, his daughter sitting on the other side. Frank was given the seat of honor next Mrs Edison, Russell Harrison sitting on the other side. Toasts of all kinds were given and a most delightful affair it was. At the end each lady was presented with a beautiful rose. I forgot to mention that on top the tower, just before leaving Madamoiselle Eiffel presented each lady with a gold bronze medal of the tower in a little leather case, as a souvenir or the occasion. Do you not think we are greatly favored to have all these beautiful things fall to us. It is very cool here. I am obliged to wear my jacket all the time. Yesterday after the Eiffel tower reception was over Frank and I went to see some of the pictures, and staid out there for dinner at a little restaurant where a splendid band of Hungarian women furnished music that is enchanting. After dinner we got seats for the illumination of the fountains, which I wont attempt to describe. It is absolutely super-human, and super-natural. It does'nt seem as if it could be a reality, but must be an illusion of the mind so exquisitely beautiful is it. We got home at 9:30, awfully tired. Mr. Edison wanted Frank to go with him to day "without any of the women" he said. So they have gone, and I am to meet Mr. Dyer at two o'clock at the Edison department, and Frank will join me at five. Mr. Dyer is to dine with us to night at the Exhibition. Four weeks ago today was my nuptial day. It does'nt seem possible, that a month has passed. We are both very well. Wont you send this letter to Mattie and Annie, after you finish it. Tell them I would write personally to them but think one letter like this must be more satisfactory to you all. Tell Mattie how much I enjoyed her sweet letter. Did you remember to send the list of presents to Mrs Perry? Will close as it is time for me to go to the Exposition. With very much love to you and father, in which Frank would join me if he were here, and kind remembrance to any friends who may be good enough to ask for me! Ever your loving daughter, Margaret A. Upton.






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