Lot #211
Thomas Edison

While conducting naval research during WWI, Edison requests a newspaper "to not publish anything hereafter regarding my experiments for the Government"
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Estimate: $800+

Description

While conducting naval research during WWI, Edison requests a newspaper "to not publish anything hereafter regarding my experiments for the Government"

World War I-dated TLS signed “Thos. A. Edison,” one page, 8.5 x 8, From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison letterhead, February 23, 1917. Letter to the editor of The Sun newspaper, in full: "The Newark Evening News has promised not to publish anything hereafter regarding my experiments for the Government. Will you do the same?" Affixed to a same-size cardstock mount. In very good to fine condition, with two small holes to a blank area, and edge toning from prior display.

When Europe became involved in World War I, Edison advised caution and preparation, insisting that technology would be the future of war. The U.S. government, interested in bringing science into its defense program, named Edison as the head of the Naval Consulting Board in 1915. Although mainly advisory in nature, the board was instrumental in the formation of a laboratory for the Navy, which later opened in 1923. During the war, Edison dedicated much of his time doing naval research, in particular working on aural and visual forms of submarine detection, but he felt that the Navy was not receptive to many of his inventions and suggestions. Some time after the war, Edison remarked to a reporter: ‘I made about forty-five inventions during the war, all perfectly good ones, and they pigeon-holed every one of them. The Naval officer resents any interference by civilians. Those fellows are a close[d] corporation.’

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #580 - Ended April 08, 2020





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