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The Edison Ore Milling Syndicate, Ltd. (EOMS or the Syndicate) was organized in London on February 24, 1898, to exploit Edison's ore milling patents in all countries except the United States and Canada. The founding directors included Edison and Herman E. Dick, a brother of A. B. Dick and later the foreign agent in promoting Edison's storage battery. As the Syndicate's technical advisor, Edison served as the official designer of the company's ore concentration works, but EOMS was led principally by London-based interests, notably Sir Joseph Lawrence, M.P., chairman of the Linotype and Machinery Co., Ltd.
EOMS used Edison's patents and ore milling designs when developing iron deposits in the Dunderland River valley, near Mo, Norway. The Standard Construction Corp., Ltd., was organized on February 27, 1902, as the engineering contractor for the Dunderland project. On April 25, 1902, the Dunderland Iron Ore Co., Ltd., was incorporated to acquire the Dunderland iron deposits, control Edison's ore milling patents in Norway and Sweden, and operate the Norwegian ore concentration plant. The Syndicate also tried to promote the use of Edison's patents and milling processes in diamond crushing, gold separation, and cement manufacturing. By 1902 EOMS included leading representatives of the British iron industry, such as Sir David Dale and George Ainsworth of the Consett Iron Works and Edward W. Richards, past president of the Iron and Steel Institute. Several EOMS members were prominent in South Africa, notably William Rhodes, a nephew of Cecil Rhodes, and Charles D. Rudd of DeBeers Consolidated Mines.
The Dunderland Iron Ore Co., Ltd., went into receivership in 1908, and EOMS entered liquidation in 1909. Thereafter Edison's involvement was limited mostly to the discussion of the project's failure and his liability for EOMS debts. In 1910 the Dunderland company emerged from receivership with a reconstituted board of directors, and by 1914 it was known as the New Dunderland Iron Ore Co., Ltd.
The following categories of documents have been selected: letters by and to Edison; letters bearing his marginalia or otherwise reflecting his direct involvement; items concerning corporate documentation, including prospectuses, proceedings, articles of association, and agreements; and a sample of inquiries related to storage batteries. The following categories of documents have not been selected: requests for payment; copies of patents; documents relating to Edison's British patent applications; routine ore analyses and inquiries about storage batteries; letters of transmittal and acknowledgment; letters pertaining to the family and personal business of Herman E. Dick. Other unselected material includes a magnetic survey of the British Isles conducted on Edison's behalf; a report on iron mines in Algeria by Theodore Lehmann; and a progress report on railway and harbor work for the Dunderland Iron Ore Co., Ltd.
The records are arranged in four series: (1) Edison Ore Milling Syndicate, Ltd.; (2) Dunderland Iron Ore Co., Ltd.; (3) Standard Construction Corporation, Ltd.; and (4) bound volumes. A finding aid for the archival record group is available at the Edison National Historical Park. Related material can be found in the Document File Series and General Letterbook Series, as well as in the Edison Portland Cement Company Records (Company Records Series) and the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works Records (Thomas A. Edison Papers, Part III (1887-1898)). Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.