JVfcOTV^

A SELECTIVE MICROFILM EDITION PARTY (1911-1919)

Thomas E. Jeffrey Senior Editor

Brian C. Shipley Theresa M. Collins Linda E. Endersby Editors

David A. Ranzan Indexing Editor

Janette Pardo Richard Mizelle Peter Mikulas Indexers

Paul B. Israel Director and General Editor

Sponsors

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site New Jersey Historical Commission

A UPA Collection from

LexisNexis*

Rond Bcthcsda, MD 20814-6126

7500 Old Georgetown

Thomas A. Edison Papers at

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey endorsed by

National Historical Publications and Records Commission 18 June 1981

Copyright ©2007 by Rutgers, The State University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication including any portion of the guide and index or of the microfilm may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means— graphic, electronic, mechanical, or chemical, including photocopying, recording or taping, or information storage and retrieval systems— without written permission of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The original documents in this edition are from the archives at the Edison National Historic Site at West Orange, New Jersey.

ISBN 978-0-88692-887-2

THOMAS A. EDISON PAPERS STAFF (2007)

Director and General Editor Paul Israel

Senior Editor Thomas Jeffrey

Associate Editors Louis Carlat Theresa Collins

Assistant Editor David Hochfelder

Indexing Editor David Ranzan

Consulting Editor Linda Endcrsby

Visiting Editor Amy Flanders

Editorial Assistants Alexandra Rimer Kelly Enright Eric Barry

Outreach and Development (Edison Across the Curriculum)

Theresa Collins

Business Manager Rachel Wcissenburgcr

BOARD OF SPONSORS (2007)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey National Park Service

Richard L. McCormick Maryanne Gerbauckas

Ziva Galili Michelle Ortwcin

Ann Fabian . .

Paul Clemens Smithsonian Institution

Harold Wallace

New Jersey Historical Commission Marc Mappen

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD (2007)

Robert Friedel, University of Maryland Louis Galambos, Johns Hopkins University Susan Hockey, Oxford University Thomas P. Hughes, University of Pennsylvania Ronald Kline, Cornell University Robert Rosenberg, John Wiley & Sons Marc Rothenberg, Joseph Henry Papers, Smithsonian Institution Philip Scranton, Rutgers University/Hagley Museum Merritt Roe Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTORS

We thankfully acknowledge the vision and support of Rutgers University and the Thomas A. Edison Papers Board of Sponsors.

This edition was made possible by grant Tunds provided from the New Jersey Historical Commission, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Major underwriting has been provided by the Barkley Fund, through the National Trust for the Humanities, and by The Charles Edison Foundation.

We are grateful for the generous support of the IEEE Foundation, the Hyde & Watson Foundation, the Martinson Family Foundation, and the GE Foundation. We acknowledge gifts from many other individuals, as well as an anonymous donor; the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies; and the Edison Electric Institute. For the assistance of all these organizations and individuals, as well as for the indispensable aid of archivists, librarians, scholars, and collectors, the editors are most grateful.

A Note on the Sources The pages which have been filmed are the best copies available. Every technical effort possible has been made to ensure legibility.

PUBLICATION AND MICROFILM COPYING RESTRICTIONS

Reel duplication of the whole or of any part of this film is prohibited. In lieu of transcripts, however, enlarged photocopies of selected items contained on these reels may be made in order to facilitate research.

EDISON GENERAL FILE SERIES

1917

ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENCE FOR 1917 CAN BE FOUND IN THE NAVAL CONSULTING BOARD RECORDS, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS SERIES

Edison General File Series 1917

E-17-01

Advertising

E-17-02

Advice

E-17-03

Architectural Concrete Company [not selected]

E-17-04

Articles

E-17-05

Autograph and Photograph Requests

E-17-06

Automobile

E-17-07

Aviation [not selected]

E-17-08

Bates Manufacturing Company [not selected]

E-17-09

Battery, Primary

E-17-10

Battery, Storage

E-17-11

Birthday Greetings

E-17-12

Book and Journal Orders

E-17-13

Business Propositions [not selected]

E-17-14

Cement [not selected]

E-17-15

Cement House

E-17-16

Charities and Loans

E-17-17

Chemicals

E-17-18

Christmas and New Year Greetings [not selected]

E-17-19

Cigarettes [not selected]

E- 17-20

Clubs and Societies

E-17-21

Condensite Company of America

E-17-22

Copyright [not selected]

E-17-23

Cotton

E-17-24

Deafness

E-17-25

E-2 Explosion

E-17-26

Ediphone

E-17-27

Edison, T. A.

E-17-28

Edison Band

E-17-29

Edison Battalion [not selected]

E-17-30

Edison Crushing Roll Company

E-17-31 Edison Effect

E-17-32 Edison Engineering Society [not selected]

E-17-33 Edison Field Day [not selected]

E-17-34 Edison Pioneers

E-1 7-35 Edison Portland Cement Company

E-17-36 Edison Pulverized Limestone Company [not selected]

E-1 7-37 Education

E-1 7-38 Electric Light

E-1 7-39 Employment

E-1 7-40 Equipment and Supplies

E-1 7-41 Exhibitions

E-1 7-42 Family

E-1 7-43 Fan Mail [not selected]

E-1 7-44 Financial

E-1 7-45 Ford, Henry r x , .

E-i 7-46 Foreign-Language Documents (Untranslated) [not selected]

E-1 7-47 Fort Myers

E-1 7-48 Glenmont [not selected]

E-i 7-49 Health and Diet [not selected]

E-1 7-50 Honors and Awards

E-1 7-51 Insurance [not selected]

E-1 7-52 Invitations

E-1 7-53 Lectures [not selected]

E-1 7-54 Legal - General [not selected]

E-1 7-55 Legal - Litigation

E-1 7-56 Milan, Ohio [not selected]

E-1 7-57 Miner’s Safety Lamp

E-1 7-58 Mining - General

E-1 7-59 Mining - Metals and Other Minerals

E-1 7-60 Mining - Ogden Iron Company [not selected]

E-1 7-61 Mining - Ore Milling

E-1 7-62 Moser & Company [not selected]

E-1 7-63 Motion Pictures

E-1 7-64 Name Use [not selected]

E-1 7-65 Naval Consulting Board

E-17-66 E- 17-67 E-17-68 E-17-69 E-17-70

E-17-71 E-17-72 E-17-73 E- 17-74 E-17-75 E-17-76 E- 17-77 E-17-78 E-17-79 E-17-80

E-17-81 E-17-82 E- 17-83 E-17-84 E-17-85 E-17-86 E-17-87 E- 17-88 E-17-89 E- 17-90 E-17-91

New Jersey Products, lnc.[not selected]

North Jersey Paint Company [not selected]

Patents

Personal

Phonograph - General

Phonograph - Edison Phonograph Works [not selected] Pohatcong Railroad Company [not selected]

Politics

Proudfoot's Commercial Agency Radio

Real Estate

Religion and Spiritualism [not selected]

Rubber

Secretary (W. H. Meadowcroft) [not selected]

Silver Lake

Stock and Bond Offerings

Submarines

Thomas A. Edison, Inc

Thomas A. Edison, Ltd. [not selected]

Visitors

Warren County Warehouse Company [not selected] West Orange Laboratory

Wisconsin Cabinet and Panel Company [not selected]

World War I - General

World War I - Experimental Work

X-Rays

Edison General File Series 1917. Advertising (E-17-01)

This folder consists primarily of correspondence from advertising managers and publishers. The correspondents for 1917 include E. T. Gundlach of the Gundlach Advertising Co. and Converse D. Marsh of the Bates Advertising Co. Some of the documents bear marginalia by Edison indicating that he did not have "anything to do with the advertising branch of the Business," which was handled by William Maxwell, second vice president of Thomas A. Edison, Inc.

Approximately 40 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items include letters from advertising companies and publishers soliciting Edison's business, invitations declined by Edison, and refutations of statements attributed to Edison.

cA Jr

J\ y^/'vri/fij-/-

J' ^ r v* j&juwary seventeenth

,yjy^ vp"\

\ I am enclosing jg*u a note of Introduction

to\ur . Edison from his Mend Mr. H. S. Eirsston , whc> ia one of :ny oloseat and dearest friends.

i I would like very much to have the prlvilegi

of meeting Mr. Edison and yourself.

As you probably know, the Frank Praebrey

to handling big things in a big, Intelligent and effective way.

I am perfectly frank to say that it is ad-

r ““ ihe”

it Would be convenient for me to aee you.

I Trusting that I may hear from you at your

eaply convenience, I beg to remain,

Yours very truly.

MR. Tfm. H. UEADOWCHOFT, Menlo Park,

Orange, N. J.

Akron, Ohio, July 15, 1916.

Mr, Thomas A. Edison,

Orange, N. J.

Dear Mr. Edison:-

Thie will introduce to you my personal friend, Mr. Frank Presbey, He has, thru the largest advertising agency in Hew York, Frank Preshey Company, mastered almost to a science the art of inspiring and educating the jpublio .

If you will give him a short interview and direct him to the right ohannel in your organ¬ ization to talk advertising, I would appreciate it very much.

HSF-FEH

Yours very truly.

January 20,1017

Ur. ]?ranl:> l’rosbrey,

Fourth Ave . at 31st Stroet,

; Hew York, U.2.

Dear Mr. prosbroy: z

1 roeoivod your favor of the 17th instant, Vihioh I brought to tho attontion of Hr. Edison.

Uo wiohos mo to say to you that ho does not personally have anything to d9 with the adver¬ tising branch of our business. 2hie ie attended to by Hr. Vita. Uaxrcoll our Socona-jVico-Preoident.

If you wish to como- over and talk to Ur. , Uaxcoll, you can toiophono mo- in advunco and' I will make an appointment for you.

' , -Yours very truly.

Assistant to Ur. Edison.

A'/19G9

THE BATES ADVERTISING COMPANY

230 FIFTH AVENUE, AT STTV STREET NEW YORK

n

Mar. 20th, 1917. 'j.-OL/M. oJiA-

Ey dear Kr . Edison:-

With the coming chang^^^rTthe Columbia and Victor Oomuanies, It seems to me an opportune time to say something that I have waited several years to say.

Hr. Edison, hack in 1911 I printed a book for you to read which contained the real solution of the Edison Phonograph Advertising.

I hardly believe in this plan of having a lot of agents submit ideas or one thing or other . In the first place, the agents with real ideas won’t sit down and work for nothing, and in the second place, agents are not the proper place to get the foundation of your ideas for advertising.

-? <5

C

?

you have more advertising ideas in a miniite about Phonographs than the raft of us agents could give you in a month. That is not discreditable to us. In the first place, you are yourself the best advertising agent I know, and while I am willing to put myself Beoond, what is the use of talking about them when you have all the new ideas necessary?

I told you in the book I printed for you that the nropor method of doing your advertising was an internal rather than an external operation. In other words, instead of trying to get ideas from a whole lot of agents, one agent with a lot of idea men and copy writers ought to sit down and listen to you lay out the ideas.

Then those copy writers and idea men - while the impression and enthusiasm of your talk was fresh in their minds - should sit right down in your library and jot down their fresh impressions. They should then go away and

’/our advertising man don't like me, as you told mo on a Saturday afternoon in your library yourself. Ho carefully keops me away from your advertising proposi¬ tion, but what do you oare Whether ho likes me I can give you greater returns in actual aaleB expended than you can get elsewhere?

per dollar

Page 3

Idr. Edison, you 'believe I have brain3 because I have proved it to you twice in my life - once when I was a young man and once after I reached my present dotage.

Appoint a time for me to see you and it will make you some money in your phonograph sales - mind you, I say sales, not just advertising.

Converse D* Harsh - s

March £4, 1917

Converoo D. Harsh, Esq.,

c/o She Bates - Advor t is inn Co.,

230 Fifth Avenue,

- lien? York, 1I.Y.

Boar Mr. Harsh: ' '

I receivod your favor of the 20th instant.. All I can say in reply is that I am entirely out of tho advertising part of tho business, and I want to koci out of It. For ooraotiao past 1 have beon’wort- inr night and day on Government enporiraento and it is out., of question for me to make any appointments. I do not ovon sea tho Officors and Heads of Departments here ‘unless they have mat tors of the most vital importance for my poreonal decision.

. Yours vory truly,..

A/2G78.

Gundlach Advertising Co.

122 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVE. PEOPLES GAS BUILDING

April Thirty 19 17

Mr. Thomas A. Edison, Orange, Hew Jersey.

Dear Mr. Edison:

I thank you very much for the trouble you took in my behalf, and I want to tell you that I thoroughly appreciate the honor of having made your acquaintance.

I am going to forget everything about business and devote myself exclusively to this other matter.

Yours very truly,

Edison General File Series 1917. Advice (E-17-02)

This folder contains correspondence from inventors and others asking for Edison's advice on technical matters or his assistance in improving or promoting inventions. Also included are general inquiries relating to the invention and patenting processes. Many of the letters for 1 91 7 concern World War I and antisubmarine warfare; some of these were referred to the Naval Consulting Board or to the U.S. War Dept. Included are letters from General Electric Chairman Charles A. Coffin, F. Allen Whiting of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and U.S. Senator John Sharp Williams of Mississippi about antisubmarine devices, along with a letter by Williams about a life-preserver union suit developed by an inventor named Aud. In addition, there is correspondence with Huntington Smith of the Animal Rescue League on the best way to euthanize stray animals; with food exporter Robert L. Conlon on the vacuum preservation of tropical fruit; with John Penman on sound insulation in concrete industrial buildings; and with Dr. Kurt Voigt on the production of hydroquinone. Also included are a translation and report prepared by employee A. William Almquist regarding ideas submitted by a Danish inventor named Holger Dankirk.

Less than 5 percent of the documents, including all items bearing substantive marginalia by Edison, have been selected. Among the unselected documents are numerous requests for financial assistance, routine informational queries, suggestions for various types of new inventions, and offers to sell patents. There are also a few unsolicited letters relating to social reform plans and campaigns. Most of these letters were handled by the secretarial staff and were never seen by Edison; some are marked "no ans." Some of the writers identify themselves as women or children; other letters are written on prison or asylum letterhead.

Similar letters about antisubmarine warfare and other military-related subjects can be found in the Naval Consulting Board and Related Wartime Research Papers, Special Collections Series.

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Dear Sir

Your favor of the 10th instant- was forwarded to lir. Bel Icon and he requests nc -to say in roply that ho is not intcrcctod in Ilydroquincmc , - and therefore will, not wish to tahro tho matter up with you.

. . Yours ‘vory truly,

'/" ISdiaon laboratory.

A/1907

is as follows:

,4 February 10, 1917.

Kr. Meadoworoft:

He. the letter, written in Danish to Ltr. Ed iso n, by. one Holger, Dunkirk: . . '

I. have translated this letter, the gist of which .

The writer claims to have several patents pending

in the Danish patent office and he desires to be employed by, Kr. _ Edison in his Laboratory so. that his ideas may be further developed and nut on a commercial Vasis. .

. ' Taking each invention separately:

•T Mr. Dankirk claims -to have a patent pending on a phonomrhph T talking .machine ) using long steel ribbon passing .over . an electro-magnet, thereby reproducing sounds instead of using, records as nt present obtaining .in the art.

2 He further claims that he has perfected a photo¬ graphic instrument (camera) .that will bring the .object put much more cleayiy than, at present obtaining. In-other words a stenoscopic effect. - . . / . ;

3. That he has perfected a combination of his phonograph and photograph instruments that will give perfect synchronism in motion pictures.

•4. That he has a patent pending on a wireless telegraph apparatus resembling a modern typewriter. By means, of this instru¬ ment, he claims to be able -t- send a radiogram just as we would, write a letter on a typewriter, andreceive it on a telegraphy ticker with the different 'characters , instead of dots . and dashes. . .-

' . - lly comments on this letter. are that I believe

Mr. Dankirk is somewhat of a dreamer, because-dis letter is. written . rather 'poorly in his native language and furthermore, he is a sa-ilor. Ho man with such brilliant ideas as this man claims he has would want to make a livelihood as a seaman.

' His address is. . ... . i

shaman's Heading dooms.

The Sort Mission,

; ' . .813-816 South Broadway,

Baltimore, Md.

nnbmitted.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SIXTH LEGISLATURE

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QlCnUcb Ubieties; Senate, Pel). 20, 1917.

Mr. Thomas A. Edison,

East Orange, N. J.

My dear Mr. Edison:

This letter is written to introduce to your consider¬ ation and acquaintance Mr. Aud. who who has a life-saving union Buit so made add adjusted that a man thrown into the water with it on will automatically right himself, so that he will float with part of his chest and his head above the water. I Know verjr little about mechanical contrivances, but the thing strips me as being in principle all right. It seems to have been tried practically to the satisfaction of various people interested in it. Mr. Aud has a lbtter from Lewis Nixon and some other letters, which he can Show you. You are a member of the Commis¬ sion of inventors and Scientists to advise the Secretary of the Havy and the Government about war inventions and life-saving in¬ ventions of various sorts, and it struck me that youuwould be the proper party to whom Mr. Aud could demonstrate the utility of his invention.

I ha.e oaaar h«a happio... of «•«»« *"* *»•“- any, Pat I too. all abort yo». •• **W « 1 ’»*• “* you have at least heard of me.

Mr. Aud is willing that during the period of war, or present S*istingimSaace of war, the Government nny use his inven-

No. 2.

tion without any profit to him. This is not, of course, complete altruism, because Mr. Aud thinks if the utility of the invention is demonstrated that it will result in great demand for it upon the part of steamship lines' and upon the part of trans-oceanio passengers on ships. He can explain the whole thing to you, of course, very much better tnan i can . four opinion concerning it would he worth something to the human race. My opinion would he v/orth nothing, particularly. I understand that the ^Lev^ce has been adopted by the hydro -fflttOplane service oifd for tS~unarine in France.

I an, with every expression of regard.

Very truly yours.

Hon. J. U. Morgan,

Bristow, Creek County, Oklahoma .

Dear Sir:-

Allow me to thank you for your favor of the 10th instant, and for your congratulations and good wishes for my Birthday. It is very good of you to remember it and to express the kind sentiments contained in your letter.

In r^ly to your question, let me say that all my patent work is done by our own legal Department which is maintained here at this Works, so I have no occasion to employ Washington Patent Attorneys to take care of my applications. For some years past, when we had special matters to be attended to in Washington, we have made use of the services of a firm of Patent Attorneys by the name of Bacon & liilans, and their services have always been satisfactory to us.

John PErofiur

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I hope you will excuse me for addressing you at this time but I had the pleasure oi' meeting you in Orange some years ago with j,:r . Klipstein of New York., and, knowing that you have had great experience and have become an authority on concrete buildings, write in re¬ ference to trouble which has developed with us in our n ew concrete building in Hamilton, which we are using for manufacturing purposes .

In connection with the building, on the floor above the basement next to our carding room we have located our office . The floors are reinforced concrete and on top of the concrete we have placed a 1-1/8“ hardwood floor, mounted on screeds with cinder concrete between . Between the Card Room and the office we have a metal lath cement plaster partition. This partition is built on top of the hardwood floor and extends up to the ceiling . In the parti¬ tions v/e have four windows .- not very large,- and in these frames v/e have heavy glass. We find that, the noise is dis¬ turbing when the cards are running and upon testing it we find that there is quite a noise through the partition, carried along the floor and'. the ceiling . V/e are desirous of finding some remedy if possible. v/e are not troubled with any noise from the ceiling abovejwhen the men are putting down the floor you cannot hear it from one floor to another. So far as coming through the floor it seerra to be sound proof, but travelling along the floor is the difficulty.

If you can give us any suggestions or can advise us the names of any parties to whom we could write Who would be able to advise us in connection with thiB matter, we would be greatly obliged.

Thanking you in advance for your reply, and

Thos . Edison, Esq.

trusting you will excuse the trouble given you, I i Yours truly,

7}\

JP/fcHB .

April 13,1917

John Penman. Esq.,'

Paris, Canada,

Dear Sir

Your favor of tho 4th. instant to. Hr. Edison has been brought to his norconal atten¬ tion.

Ho wishes me to say that it is very difficult to .give any opinion on the subject of your letter, .without examination. Ho aslo wishes mo to say that whoreover, wo have troublo of this hind, wo face- tho wall with ono-inch cow hair folt.

. Yours vory truly.

Assistant to Hr. Edison. . '

a/2062...

Orange , K . >T . Dear Sir:

VJould you be interested in u

recently perfected process for tempering 0°£- per? uopper treated by this process can be hardened and worked like Ir°n or ^*'s

fusing point is raised to over Twenty-seven (2700) degrees and can be poured, cast, rolled case hardened and can be mane Alkali and Acid resisting. In fact you can do anything with it that is desired of 0op2er. If this dis¬ covery is of any interest to you in ycur work or to the Government, v;o will bo pleased to take the matter up with you at your earliest convenience .

Very truly ,

HSK/B

W. B. FELTS & COMPANY

REAL ESTATE

Alexandria, Louisiana April 18,1'. 17.

Mr. Thomas A. Edison,

East Orange, H. J.

Dear Sir:

I had the pleasure and honor of meeting you. during your stay at your winter home at Port Myers, Ela. in 1914.

On leaving there I presented to you through your oare taker Mr Hans Zemans, a little fawn which I kept at my office, and no doubt Bonita is still the favorite pet of your winter home.

Here, recently, I have discovered a young man who is employed at the Bently Hotel of this city, and wish to call your attention to him. He has only a common school education, has never Been out of the state of Louisiana, hut is a natural horn meohanio, in fact, he iB a ^Diamond in the rough."

Reoently he has perfected a minature airship, moter and all which flies beautifully, and that which surprises me most, lie has never seen a real airship or any kind ox aerial craft

Knowing that it has always been your purpose to help young men who want to help themselves, I would suggest that youaddress him here. His address is, . Ed Savoy, 624 Second Aie-scandria La. Even if you oannot at this time use him in your laboratory or in your factory

him very much to receive an autograph letter from the great est invent er the world has ever known, which might be an in¬ spiration to him that would cause him to become a benefactor in some way to mankind, as has been the ease with you.

Thanking vou to give this matter your personal atten¬ tion, and^believe^me lln I say that my reason* for address¬ ing you, was to help a deserving young man, I am.

((

Youtb very trulrr-—

[ATTACHMENT/ENCLOSURE]

Mr. Private Secretary;

The attached letter to Mr. Edison was not written hy an eB°aPe^+^aJe°4 m*ndicant or tme with a two story head, with upper flats for rent.

It is not a scheme to end quickly, he good enough to ask him to read i

April 23, 1917

,Br. H. S. Eei-gun.

. IiaoDonough Build ing,

Ontlnnd , Cal.

Bear Sir:- . ' *

Your favor of tho 17tli instant has Boon received Tiy Ur. Edison. lie -ichoo to eny^that boforo ho can discuss tho matter of tailing up tbo proceos you mention for tempering coppor , he. would f irct lilto to aee a cample or camples of coppor iempored by this process.

.. If you wish to submit came, hindly cond

such sample or. samples to me and I will bring thorn •to Ur. Ea Ison’s attention without deley.

Yours vory truly.

Assistant to Ur. Edison.

■A. 29-17.

Idr. Ed Savoy,

624 Second St.', .

Alexandria, La.

Hoar Siiv:-

Itr. VI. B. Foils has called Mr. Edison’s attention' to the fact that yoii have perfected a miniature airship which is oporative. lir. Edison requests me to r;rito and suggest that you eond hip a photograph of the airship, so that ho may seo it.

You' can address the photograph to mo and I will bring it , to his attention.

Yours vory truly.

Assistant to lir. Edison.

A/S021. -

THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART

FREDERIC ALLEN WHITING DIRECTOR

CLEVELAND OHIO

U. S. A.

I Say 3, 1917.

Mr. William, H. Moadowcroft, c/o Thoms A. Edison,

Orange, II. J.

My dear Mr. Moadowcroft :

I am an exceedingly ignorant person upon electrical matters, hut in common with thousands of others have had ay mind very much on the natter of the U-hoat depredations recently, and an idea has occur to ice/ which is probably entirely impossible,' but which I am nevertheless pa33ing along to you with the underBton ing that if it has a grain of valua it will be put into Mr. Edison's hands for consideration. In any event, tl: letter need not be acknowledged, as it is probable that the idea is not of value!

It has occurred to me that it might be possible to construct a large number of boats which would be in some way made impervious to electric influences which would be equipped to discharge, in every direction, exceedingly heavy charges of electricity which would destroy or make impotent the electrical machinery on sub¬ marines; and that such a series of boats could, by forming a line at regular intervals- deter¬ mined by tho power of their charge 7 sv/eep the ocean and incapacitate or sink all submarines coning within thoir field.

I know that more wonderful thing than this have been done electrically and I do not doubt that it is an idea which has occurred to many people’, but I know that frequently very ignorant people have "flashes"' which arr of value, and so I pass this on to you and take the risk of being rather foolish in doing so!

my 7 , 1917.

?&•. Frederic Allon whiting, - - c /o Cho Cleveland .Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio.

:uy

3d

dear ;,'r. whiting:

X have reooivod your favor of the instant, an afraid that I shall have to send you reply that' will bo somewhat discouraging.

In the first nlacc, -as you nay readily sur¬ mise, we are getting a bushel of suggestions every dav, and Ur. Edison is so extremely busy, day and night, working out his own plans, that he could not possibly' loch into the suggest ions that are offeied. Our-courso of prooeduro, according to his instruction^, aro to suggest to our correspondents to communion be their idoas to Ur. Thomas Ilob ins. Secretary of the Kaval Consulting Board, at 13 Par* Kow ,- Hew York, II.-., who will bring them to the attention of the proper Committees. ' .

in the next placo, 1 rather fear that your sur-gostion may not bo ontiroly practicable, although "oil must plcaco remonber that this is only a personal opinion. Intense oloctrical or magnetic effects of the kind you contemplate aro practical only at vory limited distances, generally speaking, still, I not for a moment havo this deter, you from communicating vour idoa to Ur. hobine, as everything is considered ■anc] brought- to the attention of tho exports who composo 1 the Committees of tho Board.

Yours very truly.

Assistant to JEr. Edison.

'SlCniieb states Senate,

May 11, 1^17

Hon. Thomas A. Edison,

Hast Orange, IT. J.

My dear Mr. Edison:

I send you a copy of a communication recently mailed to me by Mr. A. M. Seaman, of Hatches, Miss. I don’t know any¬ thing at all about electrical science,- not as much as a four¬ teen year old hoy does. I don’t know Aether there is anything in his suggestion or not. hut I know if there is a man in the whole world who does know, it is you, so I send it to you. I have sent the original to the Secretary of the Havy to go through the routine channels. This sounds good to me, hut many things , sound wise to the ignorant which are not.

I am, with every expression of regard.

Very truly yours,

1 end.

[ATTACHMENT/ENCLOSURE]

Hatches, Miss., May 7, 1917.

Hon. John Sharp Williams, U.S. Senate,

Washington, D. C.

Bear Sir:-

Knowing yonr great patriotism X am enclosing herewith a sketch and explanatory notes showing my idea of a possible means? by the use of electricity, to nullify the des¬ tructive activities of the great menace to civilization, namely the German sub-marines, and respectfully ask that you submit the idea to the Advisory Board, in order that they may, if possrble. develop it. and effectively use it for the purpose indicated,

I wish to premise by stating that I am not technically educated in electrical terms, and therefore may be excused for Inaccu¬ racies of description. Hence. 1 can Ornish only the central idea, coupled with my own descriptive wording, leaving the tech¬ nical details, and their application, if the idea is at all feasible, to those better qualified to do so:

The abovo vessel.

- - - - $—

( Hull of Ye s -

hows the hull of the ship <

i seen from above the

„A„ and »a a- show insulated electrical conductors, of high voltage capacity or resistance- say 20,000 or more located amidships some feet under the normal water line, and projecting through the hull just sufficient to accomplish the purpose, and not to be obstructive. Each conductor would have a core extending through the hull, the outer end being in contact with the water, (which itself is a fine conductor and capable of being surcharged with electricity) while the inner and would be connected up with powerful electrical generators.

[ATTACHMENT/ENCLOSURE]

The oonneotion between the generator and the core transmitting the aieotric current to the water, would bo constructed as to "make-and-break" current with great rapidity, and if pos¬ sible, with equally rapid changes of voltage, so as to oreate and maintain a succession of powerful electric shocks of varying intensity, to as great a radius as the power applied would be effective for the purpose.

(1) Tho object, or purpose, of the shocks, ooupled with the "make-and-break" current idea is to so sur-charge the water for a considerable area, -with waves of electricity of varying intensity as to disarrange the machinery of an oncoming torpedo, and possibly to detonate its explosive charge, or at least deflect it from its course, thus cause it to miss the target.

(S) And if this missing is accomplished, the desired end is attained, so far as the torpedo is concerned.

(3) A submarine must necessarily be provided with a great variety of vert delicate scientific instruments, which, if she git -within the zone electrically sur-c'narged, or shocked at rapid intervals, would probably be rendered at least temporarily and possibly permanently useless, thus nullifying xi the submarine.

As above indicated, I am not sufficiently parsed in matters electric, to know whether or not the great amount of electricity required would re-act on the generating vessel, but if so. it would Boem that such eventuality could be overcome.

However, please submit this communication to the proper authorities; if, the idea proves worthy of a trial, or if it suggest a way of leading to an amelioration or possible extinct¬ ion of the accursed German submarihe, I will feel that 1 have rendered some service to my country and humanity, and effectually assisted in getting rid of German "Kultur" as exemplified in their use of the submarine.

I have the honour to be,

Very respectfully,

A; M. Seaman, C/o Huhn Bros. ^atche.z,. Mjas

Hon. John Sharp Williams,

United States Senate,

Washington, D. C.

Uy do&r Hr. Williams:

I have received your favor _ of the 11th instant enclosing copy of a communi- . cation sent to youby I'r .- A . il. Seaman, of llatchor.. Hiss. In my. opinion, Hr. Socman's scheme hcs no morit. It is quite true that viator may ho elec¬ trified, hut not such a large body of viator as tho Ocean as tho charge would ho dispersed and probably not noticnble at any reasonable distance away from the ship. ,

I doubt vory much that a Submarine would be inconvenienced' even if it ccme within the influ¬ ence of vory highly~cjiarged body of water . I am - quite sure that a torp.odo would not bo exploded under siioh conditions.

Hr. Seaman has evidently ovorloohed tho fact .that hie own ship would bo right in tho center of tho eloctrlcally charged body of water, and his own ship would bo in more danger than tho Submarine if his theory were correct. In other words, "what is sauce for the Gooso is sauco for the Gander".

With kindost regards to you, I remain,

Yours very, truly, *

A/5163.

This Animal Rkscdk League

) lu~~M V- '-ft* -p

Thomas A. Edison, Eb<i. , g ®

West Orange, New Jersey. fo ,

My dear Sir: ^ ^LLMl^S ~

In a recent pamphle^o^.^ ".Anir^l^ j ^ / '}•'

Electrocution" you are credited wi^^eS^ate- ment that "The anaesthetic mejthcTcT Vvoc-XK^^

lives of stray dogs and cats is. more humane twin

u> nw a*'*-*, s~

the use of electricity for that purpos^.1" C.

Electrocution" you t

I have been greatly impressed with /