Outstanding vintage matte-finish 6.75 x 8.75 seated portrait of Edison by Pach Brothers, affixed to the original 11 x 13.75 studio mount, neatly signed and inscribed on the mount in black ink, "To Day Baker: I want to commend the conscientious, intelligent efforts you are making which are materially assisting in bringing about the day when the electric vehicle in our cities will become more common than the horse. Thomas A. Edison.” Lower right of mount bears a Pach Brothers seal and copyright stamp dated 1904. In very good to fine condition, with the mount showing light soiling and toning, chips at corners and top edge, and unobtrusive professional restoration to the upper right corner; the image and handwriting are both virtually pristine.
Day Baker was an influential Bay State businessman and an avid proponent of the use of electric motors to replace horses. Successful in nearly all of his ventures, Baker served as the treasurer for both the Boston Commercial Motor Vehicle Association and the Electric Vehicle Association of America, and for several years served as president of the Boston Electric Motor Car Club. Edison held a number of patents related to the electric vehicle, including No. 750,102, entitled ‘Electrical Automobile,’ issued on January 19, 1904, which was intended to ‘provide an electric automobile in which the driving motor may be conveniently and effectively utilized for the purpose of charging the batteries.’ The invention of Edison’s nickel-iron alkaline electrical storage battery went on sale not long after, but early models were soon returned and manufacturing temporarily suspended. Reintroduced in 1909, the improved Edison Storage Battery was used primarily in small electrical delivery vehicles in urban areas, but was ultimately not widely adopted for automobile design.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.