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These records cover the period 1891-1902. Included are correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, drawings, calculations, lists, and other documents. Most of the material deals with the design, construction, operation, improvement, repair, and dismantling of machinery and equipment at the Ogden works. The principal authors are Edison, Orville Benson, Joseph W. Harris, Emil Herter, Walter S. Mallory, and Fred A. Phelps, Jr. Other authors include Fred R. Andress, Charles Batchelor, Frank Batchelor, and Francis R. Upton. Many of the documents are by unidentified authors.
The records are arranged into five groups: (1) unbound documents; (2) linen drawings; (3) bound volumes; (4) standard-size notebooks; and (5) pocket notebooks.
The unbound documents include reports of crushing, ore assays, and mill running times; lists of construction supplies; specifications for equipment; records of experiments with the bricker oven and elevator; operating cost estimates; notes and drawings. Also included are several undated memoranda in Edison's hand relating to instructions for the construction, layout, repair, improvement, and dismantling of the Ogden works. For similar surveys by Edison see "Inspector's Reports (1900)" among the bound volumes in this series.
Because the daily operational records of the plant were created without a uniform title or form, information recording such activities as mill running and stoppage times, repairs, and the testing and measurement of equipment and crushed ore was recorded in various places. Such information can be found among the unbound records as well as in the following bound volumes: "Daily Reports of Crushing (1890-1892)" [not selected], "Inspector's Reports (1900)," and "1893 Experiment Book (1891-1893)."
The unbound records also include almost 3,000 linen drawings covering the period 1893-1908, each bearing a date and title. The drawings are divided into six sets. Five sets are arranged by alphabetic prefix (A-E) and sequential number, each set possessing a roughly chronological order. Set A contains the largest drawings, while Set E contains the smallest. The sixth set is unnumbered, with drawings arranged in alphabetical order by title. The linen drawings mostly present details and specifications for the components of equipment, including the crushers, dryers, furnaces, bricker ovens, and conveyors. Among those pertaining to the arrangement and layout of equipment and buildings are drawings depicting the laborers' dwellings and the layout of the Ogden works. A complete listing of drawings can be found as an appendix to the finding aid at the Edison National Historical Park.
The bound records include daily reports of crushing; cost calculations; profit and loss analyses; chemical and ore analyses; inspection reports; records and analyses of plant running and stoppage times; ledgers and lists of equipment, supplies, and repairs; information on furnaces in the area of the Ogden works; and reports on sand and rosin. Some material pertains to insurance, accounts, and financial obligations.
The bound records also contain a set of 14 standard-size (6" x 9") notebooks and 15 pocket notebooks, which resemble Edison's laboratory notebooks in size and appearance (see Notebook Series). The books cover the period 1889-1900. They were used by Edison, Charles Batchelor, Joseph W. Harris, Emil Herter, Walter S. Mallory, and unidentified authors. The books relate primarily to the magnetic separation process, briquette manufacturing, and phosphorous tests. Some books concern building construction, machinery installation, maintenance, repairs, and production stoppages. There are also notes and calculations by Edison regarding costs, depreciation, profits, losses, and the production capacity of the Ogden works; notes and calculations pertaining to the Ortiz gold mine; a list of various types of mills; a proposal for financing the Ogden works; and a proposal for a "small temporary syndicate" to purchase the phonoplex business.
The books are arranged in two sets according to their archival "N" or "PN" number. For dated notebooks, these six-digit numbers generally correspond to the first date in the book. Additional information about the numbering of Edison's notebooks can be found in the targets for the Notebook Series.
The following categories of documents have been selected: items written by Edison, bearing Edison marginalia, or showing Edison's involvement, opinion, or instructions; samples of reporting and record keeping practices at the Ogden works; notes, drawings, and calculations relating to the manufacture of briquettes, the reduction of phosphorous content in ore concentrate, and experiments with the separator and duster.
The following categories of documents have not been selected: records relating to daily operations, construction activities, routine maintenance, and repairs at the Ogden works (unless Edison was directly involved); variant versions of selected items; rough notes where the lack of context makes the items undecipherable; and material pertaining to routine technical work.