TLS signed “Thos. A. Edison,” one page, 8.5 x 11, Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison letterhead, February 19, 1924. Letter to Charles A. Janke at the Bell Telephone Company. In part: “I was very interested in reading…the copy of the circular letter that I sent out from Menlo Park in February 1881. I was then working on my electric light system, and gathering statistics in regard to gas. The letter was sent out in order to get information as to how much competition I was likely to encounter when I introduced the electric lighting system.” Handsomely mounted, matted, and framed beside a portrait of Edison to an overall size of 24.5 x 19. Intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature), a small separation to a fold at the top edge, and light toning (mainly confined to edges), otherwise fine condition.
Edison began working to create a practical system of electric lighting in 1878 that could compete with lighting fueled by gas and oil. To make an electric light commercially viable he had to contend with several difficult factors—cost of manufacture, cost of electricity, and usage lifetime. With the support of some of America’s greatest financiers—J. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts—Edison established the Edison Electric Light Company in New York, and in Menlo Park on December 31, 1879, made the first public demonstration of his incandescent lightbulb. By 1881, Edison had established the groundwork for large scale production of his lamp and began to focus on the even more ambitious project of developing an infrastructure for the distribution of electricity. As shown in this letter about conducting market research, Edison was not only a genius inventor but a savvy businessman. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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