05-31-2018 06-08-2018
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3103T Marlborough
May 31, 2018 10:00 AM - June 8, 2018 10:00 AMCalender

Edison, Thomas A. (1847-1931) Four Typed Letters Signed [Together with] Four Typed Letters Signed by Edisons Secretaries, 20 December

Auction: Books & Manuscripts - 3103T Location: Marlborough Date / Time: May 31, 2018 10:00AM


Edison, Thomas A. (1847-1931) Four Typed Letters Signed [Together with] Four Typed Letters Signed by Edison's Secretaries, 20 December 1924 to 28 January 1925. All letters addressed to Robert S. Dodge of Spencer, Massachusetts, regarding Edison's phonograph business and inventions, including letters by Edison containing a thorough explanation of the inventor's thoughts on the state of the market and his competitors; written at a time when Edison's phonograph business was beginning to founder; he ceased manufacture in 1929: "The Victor people have not made a success of the great artists. For ten years they have poured out millions in advertising. To-day they have learned that the great artist records never had a good sale. dealers have in their hands more than ten million dollars worth of red seal records. [...] The bonehead dealers have been buying these records for years on standing order and as not one dealer in 100 ever took an inventory to ascertain the sales value of the various records he never changed his standing orders; but owing to the big depression and the failure of so many phonograph companies and the cut in prices, with a tremendous fall in sales, has caused the dealer to investigate." In the 14 January 1925 letter: "The trouble with electric motors is that the dealers cannot make any money by reason of the service which they are compelled to give on account of the impossibility of teaching owners how to remedy any troubles that might arise. We put out over 1,000 electric winding motors in the early days, but had to take them back. The little motors which were attached to the disc machines to drive the turntables, so that the owner would not have to use the crank were a disaster to every dealer, and in most cases the jobbers had to take them back. The trouble with an electric motor is that the commutator gets dirty and sparks." A group of letters with interesting content fresh to the market from a family collection; each in good condition, slightly dusty, old folds, three of the Edison letters typed over a single page, one is written over two pages, should be read for content; with an additional letter discussing the loan of the letters in the 1940s, addressed to the original correspondent.
Estimate $40,000-60,000

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Robert S. Dodge, Spencer