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

Paul B. Israel

Director and General Editor


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

A UPA Collection from


Thomas A. Edison Papers

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 m 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


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 Endersby

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


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey National Park Service

Richard L. McCormick Maryanne Gerbauckas

Ziva Galili Michelle Ortwein

Ann Fabian

Paul Clemens Smithsonian Institution

Harold Wallace

New Jersey Historical Commission Marc Mappen


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


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 funds 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.


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 1912

E- 12-01 Advertising

E-12-02 Advice E-12-03 Articles

E-12-04 Autograph and Photograph Requests

E-12-05 Automobile

E-12-06 Aviation

E- 12-07 Banking

E-12-08 Battery, Primary

E-1 2-09 Battery, Storage - General

E-1 2-1 0 Battery, Storage - Country House Lighting

E-1 2-1 1 Battery, Storage - Delivery Wagons - General

E-1 2-1 2 Battery, Storage - Delivery Wagons - Endurance Tests [not


E-1 2-1 3 Battery, Storage - Delivery Wagons - Lansden Company E-1 2-1 4 Battery, Storage - Edison Storage Battery Company [not


E-1 2-1 5 Battery, Storage - Electric Vehicles

E-1 2-1 6 Battery, Storage - Federal Storage Battery Car Compay

E-1 2-1 7 Battery, Storage - Foreign - General

E-1 2-1 8 Battery, Storage - Foreign - Bergmann, Sigmund

E-1 2-1 9 Battery, Storage - Foreign - Japan

E-1 2-20 Birthday Celebration

E-1 2-21 Birthday Greetings [not selected]

E-1 2-22 Book and Journal Orders

E-1 2-23 Business Propositions [not selected]

E-1 2-24 Cement

E-1 2-25 Cement House

E-1 2-26 Charities and Loans

E-1 2-27 Christmas and New Year Greetings [not selected]

E-1 2-28 Cigarettes

E-1 2-29 Clubs and Societies

E-1 2-30 Deafness

E-12-31 Edison, T.A.

E-1 2-32 Edison Club [not selected]

E-12-33 Edison Crushing Roll Company E-1 2-34 Edison Star [not selected]

E-1 2-35 Education

E-1 2-36 Electric Light

E-1 2-37 Employment

E-1 2-38 Equipment and Supplies

E-1 2-39 European Tour (1911)

E-1 2-40 Exhibitions

E-1 2-41 Family

E-1 2-42 Fan Mail [not selected]

E-1 2-43 Financial [not selected]

E-12-44 Foreign-Language Documents (Untranslated) [not selected]

E-1 2-45 Fort Myers

E-1 2-46 Glenmont

E-1 2-47 Halogen Products Company

E-1 2-48 Health and Diet

E-1 2-49 ' nsurance [not selected]

E-1 2-50 invitations [not selected]

E-1 2-51 Lectures [not selected]

E-1 2-52 Legal - General

E-1 2-53 Legal - Litigation

E-1 2-54 Menlo Park

E-1 2-55 Miner's Safety Lamp

E-1 2-56 Mining - General [not selected]

E-1 2-57 Mining - Metals and Other Minerals

E-1 2-58 Mining - Ore Milling

E-1 2-59 Motion Pictures - General

E-1 2-60 Motion Pictures - Educational Films

E-1 2-61 Name Use [not selected]

E-1 2-62 Patents

E-1 2-63 Personal

E-i 2-64 Phonograph - General

E-1 2-65 Phonograph - Edison Phonograph Works

E-12-66 Phonograph - Foreign

E-1 2-67 Phonograph - Music Publishers

E-12-68 Politics

E-1 2-69 Port Huron [not selected]

E-1 2-70 Proudfoot's Commercial Agency [not selected]

E-1 2-71 Radio

E-1 2-72 Real Estate

E-1 2-73 Receipts [not selected]

E-1 2-74 Religion and Spiritualism [not selected]

E-1 2-75 Secretary [not selected]

E-1 2-76 Stock and Bond Offerings [not selected]

E-1 2-77 Tasimeter

E-1 2-78 Telegraph

E-1 2-79 Telephone [not selected]

E-1 2-80 Thomas A. Edison, Inc. - General

E-1 2-81 E-1 2-82 E-1 2-83 E-1 2-84 E-1 2-85 E-1 2-86 E-1 2-87

E-1 2-88

Thomas A. Edison, Inc. - Accounts Tidal Power

Warren County Warehouse Company [not selected]

West Orange Laboratory - General

West Orange Laboratory - Hutchison, Miller Reese

West Orange Laboratory and Associated Companies - Letters

and Reports to Edison

X-Rays [not selected]

Edison General File Series 1912. Advertising (E-12-01)

This folder contains solicitation letters from advertising managers. The selected items relate primarily to the promotion of Edison's alkaline storage battery in electric automobiles. Included are circulars by Converse D. Marsh of the Bates Advertising Co. regarding marketing strategies in Boston.

Approximately 40 percent of the documents, including all of the correspondence with Edison marginalia, have been selected. Among the unselected items are additional circulars by Marsh, solicitation letters from the Exhibitors Advertising Co. and McClure's Magazine, and an appeal from the Glen Ridge Public Schools.


The Converse D. Marsh Company

r$ Spruce St., New Tork

May Becond 19 12

This is a copy of a letter we arc sending the Electric Vehicle Manufacturers not represented in Bocton wherein wc are enclosing 2 co-operative advertising pages from the Herald and Transcript.

We are onclooing you herewith 2 pages torn re¬ spectively from the Herald and Transcript of Boston showing the co-operative advertising page for the Electric Automobile.

Next Saturday and Sunday there will be evon more of this advertising.

Why don't you get representation in Boston, the place where things are boing done? As you probably know, the Electric Vehicle business iB increasing faster in How England with Boston as a nucleus than in any city in tho coun¬ try. Ho big business is boing done yet but sales are doublod or trebled what they were a year ago and 5 or 6 tiraos what they wore in 1910.

Wo don't claim to scratch the surface yet but we do know that with this co-operative advertising going on we will soon have a fairly big furrow plowed and I predict that in a year from now, Boston will be the centre of Electric Automobile activity in the United States.

Yours very truly.


The Converse D. Marsh Company

l$ Spruce St., New York


seventh 19 12


This is a copy of a letter Vehicle Manufacturers in th<

>"c arc sending the United Statoo.

Mayor Fltr.gerald of Boston addressed The Elec¬ tric Vehicle Club a few days ago and ho told thorn, amidst much applause,, what Boston was doing in improved street paving. This improvement is a groat thing for the Elec¬ tric Automobile in tho street of Boston although in the suburbs the streets are perhaps averaged better than any other city in America, and the Massachusetts highways have been famous ever since the days of the bicycle.

Yours very truly.

CD]' /EG

the Dates Advertising Company

office or





Telephone Numbefe

4421 Beelmian

4422 J




This is a copy of a letter wo are sending the Electric Vehicle! Manufacturers in the TTnitod States.

On last Wednesday I road a paper before The El¬ ectric Vehicle Club of Boston which had a deeper import attnehed to it than simply the question of advertising. Yours very truly,


10B. A. Kdinon, <L^CX ^

- . . ^r~z<^

■~ “£:^j <-

I would like very much! to have I Jy_^.


the advertising _—— T"**“ '

more important £,<-*.&Cs

I have gone intc game, because I think it is field today than any other i

Ab you may or may not know, X believe your judgment to be practically infallible, and it would help me very materially, if I could learn from you whether the line pursued in this opening fire, strikes the responsive chord.


X expect to be in Chicago for the next two or three months. If you can spare a few moments for the task, I should certainly appreciate a line from you.

P. I,.

- P.



the Bates Advertising Company







Telephone Numbefc

4420 \ .

4421 Deekman

4422 J

1 9 IE .

Thomas A- Edison, Esq.,

Edison Storage Battery Co.,

Orange , N . J.

Dear Sir:-

We have today mailed you copy of the Motor Truck Booklet issued hy The Edison Electric Illuminating Company, '"his shows you Just one activity of the work in Boston. Within the next six or eight months you will see results in Boston that will surprise you. In the meantime I might call your attention to Electric light Company has yet that we are sending you.



the fact that no other published a booklet like

very truly ,


,ive Committee.

P. S. This is a copy of the letter we are Electric Vehicle Manufacturers.

sending to all The

Edison General File Series 1912. Advice (E-1 2-02)

This folder contains unsolicited correspondence from inventors and others asking for Edison's advice on technical matters or his assistance in improving or promoting inventions. Included are comments by Edison regarding the profits earned by inventors and remarks concerning specific technologies or scientific phenomena such as static and atmospheric electricity. Also included are comments about the work of Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius and German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz. Some of the letters pertain to consumer demand for refrigeration and, in the aftermath of the 1912 Titanic disaster, methods for detecting icebergs in sea water.

Less than 5 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items received a perfunctory reply or no answer from Edison.



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Elmira, H.Y dU-o. Cf

Scheme for saving lives of miners

Jan, 10, 1912 ^ u>L^'in.e>£‘


in case of mine explosions. ft£

Mr. Thos. A. Edison, aL*yfc*V ‘T^'^'V \

For some time past whenever l vea.A^&^ a

attendant loss of life, I always think*^^3st3tvCy^w^^^rc\cC have been saved by use of the following A&cvjXe^ apparatus^ 0

Place at convenient positions th^ghout |the mine smakfrooms built of concrete or steel or iron plate of the necessary thickr^ss, and rendered as nearly air tight as possible, into which the men could go in case of accident. These rooms to be connected with the outside world by means of telephone connection, pipes for pumping fresh air to the men, and ventilating the rooms. P-robhbly it would be possible to send liquid food through pipes to these rooms as well. Also some stock of canned goods might be kept in the rooms. Thus the men would be able to exist for some time in comparative safety, until their rescue could be efected, and their whereabouts amd condition could be known by means of the telephone.

Personally 1 am not in position to know the conditions in the mines at such times, and this scheme may not be at all practicable for some good reasons which I am unable to anticipate. If there is any value in it I would be glad to see it carried out in the interest of humanity.

If there is value in the idea as a business proposition for a pattentee or manufacturer I would be glad to profit by it as the originator of the idea, but am in no position to try it out for myself.

I do not really expect an answer to this letter ( and I appologize for trespasing on your time etc.) unless you see value in the idea and feel disposed to make reply.

Very respectfully,


#512 Fitch St., Elmira, M.Y.

Mr Thomas A. EdiBon Menloe Park K.J< Dear Sir:-

^inghamton N.Y. Jan 15th. 1912

fy\/U\ £*(*-

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I hope you will pSbabi ray freedom in address ing you,

bjLca-rvT 0 0- Kna

ask: ttei


I am in serious need of ^dVi'ce^and knowing of'jfour wid| elxperi

lArCOt<- C*. V^w\w«uw o^u.evrv «vw<Ujj » •-*

enoe in patent matters and l^buls^^^d5°rL^™* ^ a^ki^- this favor which if granted I assure you^rill not js forgotten if X am successful with ray invention. _

I have Invented a nut lock, which is an ^solute look, nut a highly ornamental device, but a simple device that locks by obstru ction instead of by friction as most inventions of this class do.

My papers have just been filed in the patent Office so I cannot describe it yet but will send you full dlscription later.

My object in writing you is for advice as to the most advantagious manner of marketing my invention, the amount X should expect to get for it & ect. I will stato here there is no question as to the efficency of my device as I have given it a rigid test and the cost ftf manifacture will be extremely small perhaps one cent per nut above the regular cost of same.

The nut can be applied to any bolt without any previous preparation of the bolt so you may base your advice on the assumption that the device is absolutely practical and economical of construction As a device of this kind is more needed by railroads than any other class of consumers X have conceived the idea of trying to sell the rights to the various rail road corporations at a per mile rate, on their holdings.

Thomas A. Edison #3

Rather than sell the patent outright to one oompany.

Hoping the foregoing information is sufficient for yoy to form an intelligent opinion of my needs.

I will close with a farther assurance that any advice you may be able to give that will assist me in advantages ly disposing of my patent will receive an equitable enumeration.

I remain respectfully yours.




Orange ,11. J .

;?an 15-12

Boar Sir : .

Have you over investigated the natter of whether there is not a considerable quantity of elootriety generated from a stean pipe and engine while the sane is in operation? The writer Believes that there is considerable on account of the friction of all the parts mainly nade by the friction of the stean. It is possible there is enough of Intent fcleetricty in theso parts if thorc was sone means of tjl.ing sane off and putting it into commercial use .to bo of value.

Very respectfully,^

M -W

> *- % »j*r.


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Memphis, Term., Feb. I, 1912. , New Jersey, J . ^ o-f


Mr. Thomas A. Edison,

Orange ,

Sir:- ’ta-

I am writing to you for information.^%^.4

I have filed an application for pate in the^U. -S^y^fcgnt Ojj- ^ fioe for a machine, of »hich the A Zfr X

in* model in order to enable them to fully'knd readily understand its «■


precise operation. And I am enclosing herewith drawing an^a wrft^ ten desription of it, which I would ^mce for'"yout^ look over; tt^T is to say, if you have no objections and give me your opinion as tq its feasibility. ^ ^ *U*m~~*.

It is very artful in design, and can not be made under ordinary circumstances, as much skill and a great deal of money is required.

I have some money, but not enougjTDo carry out my plan, and it is my object in view to get sufficient jWprital^behind me to make the proper experiments, and, for this reas^\_^^Xwc3Jgip^#n^Mq)laining the : matter to you, because I believe tha^Oif I can get you to sanction or regard my theory as worthy of att^niJor^V^fii&i^e^fc^^ persons as Mr. Carnegie to defray the expense of experimenting, whrchgjg*, in my opinion, the only sure way of knowing whether or not it is foible.

I understand that in 1902 Mr. Carnegie, with a gift^f ten mil¬ lion dollars, founded in Washington the Carnegie Insj^ute for Orig¬ inal Research, and that the policy of the Institution is that only those inquiries are aided which give promise of fruit, and in every case the grantee requires to be a man of proved ability. I am not a man of proved ability; but, nevertheless, I entend to ask this In¬ stitution for aid any way, and I thought that it would be best for me to f irBt explain matters to you and get you to approve of my plan and I ask you, for this reason, to look over my drawing, etc., and then, if you have any confidence in its feasibility and do not care for me using your name and influence in procuring money to make such exper¬ iments; that is, so for as your opinion goes, I would be glad if you


would state the confidence you have in it, in a letter and also give me permission to use the letter to help influence persons to whom I may apply for help. In other words, it is necessary that I furnish positive evidence that the invention is feasible before I can procure financial assistance from any man of intelligence, and if you will send me a certificate which furnishes such evidence that will enable me to convince men, such as Mr. Carnegie, that my views on the sub¬ ject deserve the carful examination by such exact tests that will enable ub to KNOW, not guess, whether or not such a machine is or is not operative, you will do me a great favor. If, on the other hand, you think the invention is feasible and desire to become a joint patentee in the matter; that is, so far as foreign patents are con¬ cerned i you may do so if you desire to furnish the required sum your¬ self for making the experiments, etc. But this, however, does not include the United States patent. I understand that the time in which to file patent applications under the rules of the Internation¬ al agreement has recently been extended to twelve months, which begins to run from the date of filing the United States application, which gives the inventor an opportunity to secure foreign patents on all the countries which are members of the Union, which are: Austria, Hungary, Great Britain, United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Portugal, Mexico, Servia, Tunis, Brazil, Guatemala, San Domingo, Queensland, Australia, New Zealand, Dutch East Indies, Japan, Cuba, and Dutch WeBt Indies. In the event you should want to take me up on this proposition and become a joint patentee on the foreign pat¬ ents, please write me what proportion of these patents you would want for this service.

My invention relates to means for making possible the production of perpetual motion, and it consists of a device which is admirably adapted to accomplish the purpose in view. But, nevertheless, it proves a work of time and some difficulty to remove an impression so

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Boots, Shoes and Rubbers For All Mankind






CINCINNATI. O., - —190 -


Columbia Baking and Bottling Co.,



Bottlers of All Kinds of Soft Drinks.

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The Great & Only Thomas A Edison, 0^ ^

Orange, H.J. ./£ ^

My Dear Sir:- ^

You have been at the Rockfeller In^ftu^fr ^ j and mentioned that they had a dog that was keptfwi-Jgpl^^ storage with his heart out for a certain time la^dfaj^thej^ time of the writing was apparently as lively a&

I am very sure it was your writing, but I can not t^?l w tjjjpctfa/

1 saw it> mV

Win you please inform me on this; I take great i retire iftLfn modern science and am very sorry I misplaced A^t .tjjljtffele. Feeling already vei'y much indeptded to you, I sin/sa^ely b6pe I shall be the proud owner of an answer from*1miXFath£r of Science" Thomas A Edison. v\,

Yours most respectfully.

J v



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i March 14th, 1912.


Mr. Thomas. A. Edison, ^ jL\<,

Orange, Usw dorsey^ ^

Dear Sir: U°co^4 ^ ^ ^'f ^

Please pardon tho liberty I am taking. But I want to see if you can help mo out 'in trying to get rid of the Sulphur and lead that is in the sample of Cotton ^

Seed Oil that I am sending you .tod^y under separate cov^, f

er- ^ ,

/n Hr CO t/Lc o IvC.jfc^W

. With youruhorough knowledge of electricity,

I't-seems to mo that you could find a way to aP^y °^^: ricity to this Oil that wouia make the lead and, sulphur precipitate. ^ oCr ^ *,2^6

to »okolte^krs?s.oSSMo''’'«^

“? «,* au

and four hundred degrees fahrenheit, and if it turns the Oil black, or if it turns the silver black, we cannot use the Oil, but if it leaves the silver and oil untouched, it

I, on .isht to

If you woul^VLike to have a larger sample of Oil I will take great pleasure in .sending it to yo»*"- (v.hci-CvJv

Another thing I would like tdjask and that is what

Another thing I wouia like toyasK anu “““ -

Dimple method could I use to let electricity feo i -S-1, Could I use a transformer attached to an e^eot^°ld

light fixture, and let the two wires lay in the Oil? V/ould that have any acti^on^ whateva^on the


VT'U - - K

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If not takinp too much of your valuable time will you please answer as quick as possible.

Yours very truly, H.D.V/III3HIP & CO.


April 3, 1912

J Jw^vv^ C tMtXriSj

/V ttL E*V— *u-U£fc*>* Ls tr- a* ^

Dear gir^ t,;T<A V*o— -

I appeal to you as an expert.

VO ovu- <*-/v'fAt el>U.nie'Jc « -t'V'A^T

Wi$l Vou (please tell me if \

C.cnvi*i-»»-/-Cv4 4|i.uh<k( im (lv.« C-WfvC,-)

^ there is any truth |or possibility, of ^

^Truth inj thp statement's contained, in vuVlw w»i- r^vc-iv*-—* (X-yv *•* i, the enclosed, newspaper clipping?

r truly yours , C&~

^ Jt'

ity Superintendent of Sc

Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,

Llewellyn Park, Orange, N. J.

^ I r i

i erst. and. that in your engineer


K^y \c//> '//or/'-,

April 20, 1912


r work you are some- times interested in new power plants. The writer would like to ask if you Lav.- ever seriously considered the first oil engine on the marketjWViich -rivals the steam engine in reliability and at the same lime far excels any other form of motive power in eoon omy. We can point to a record of:

1 b.H.P. with a fuel cost of l/6th of a cent per hour.

Ir y,H1 w-uld like to have » copy of engineering data, tests, et

k.,,.slv a) vi ae ar.o itwHl he sent promptly, showing this economy, K.n.iy aivi-.e

Please c so s-te If you wish to receive any interesting literature we publish on the subject from time to time.

Yours very truly,


Vice Pres^


O^a 3-ffi.c " ~ * X . 'IL^ s“'

^ iUb^y, N.Y. , April 22f(^|-

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cim **** <** ^ i :

Guc^O.~tV' <vi)

Mr. Thomas A. Sells on, " *" •■ I


vJ^ \\^t--t- Llsipllyn Sark, H.J.

Dear Sir,-

You have done so much to make lifer®01,0 worth living, that I want to v/rite to you about something which you can ao to add to your long list of helpful achievements. It is for the housekeeping women that I write. The problem that much concerns them now is the family ice box. It is a necessity, but it also is a nuisance. It drips into a waste pan when that is not running o- ver, either because we forget to empty it on time, or because it has filled faster than usual on account of the weather. Also, it is a damp contraption and might be oiled "nasty" at timeB. How, why can not you, with your great knowledge of chemistry, invent some sort of a freezing mixture that could be placed daily, or, better yet , two or three timeB a week, into a receptacle that we could place in the ice compartment of the ice box, and which would give off a dry cold that would take the place of the faBt melt¬ ing wet ice? Of course the mixture would have to be cheap and the container ought not to cost too much, although I think that any woman would be willing to pay reasonably to get such a boon as this artificial cooler wo uld be.

Respectfully yours.

^ .A

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A cheap device for giving notice or a change in the temperature or tne sea water, indicating the proximity of ice, might I fancy oe contained in a cigar shaped enclosure to he towed astern or a vessel ny a wire, somewhat as is now the patent ship's log. the apparatus on the principle of a iirnace thermostat ana Dy means of an electric connection to ring a oell on the bridge when danger was indicated.

seems to me when it is necessary to cut into asphalt pavements for the laying of a sunway, for Instance, it might he done where a trolley or arc light wire was accessible by constructing a metal sleage with sharp \J shaped runners the necessary distance apart. These runners to De heated white hot Dy electricity and drawing the sledge or sleigh slowly over the course, I imagine that the asphalt would be

Very respectfully yours,

517 V. Onondaga si




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copying papers,