[The following note describes a series of company records and has no document records attached to it. To see the document records in the volumes and folders described here, use the "Which Series Notes?" button to enter the Series Notes or use the "Next Text" button to move to the first item in the series.]
This record group covers the period 1900-1952 and relates primarily to Edison's interest in securing sources of nickel and cobalt for use in storage batteries. Many of the records pertain to the activities of Edison's brother-in-law, John V. Miller. Throughout the period 1901-1904 Miller supervised magnetic surveys, diamond-drilling operations, land patent applications, and nickel searches in the Sudbury district of Ontario. During some of this time he was the agent of the Mining Exploration Co. of New Jersey (MECNJ), a company organized in 1902 to finance Edison's nickel explorations. Miller also conducted magnetic surveys in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In 1907 he began administering Edison's Canadian properties. In that capacity he attempted to sell, lease, or option the Darby Mine, a cobalt-bearing property in the Nipissing (later Timiskaming) district of Ontario, which had been purchased with funds from the Edison Storage Battery Co. in 1905. After Edison's death, Miller served as secretary of Edison's estate. He also sat on the board of directors of MECNJ during 1933, when the company was dissolved.
Most of the material dates from the period before 1907. The documents reflect the business of MECNJ, the administration of Edison's mining projects and real estate interests in Ontario, and the disposition of the Canadian properties by Edison's estate. Included are administrative and financial documents; articles of association; minutes from directors' meetings; correspondence, notes, drawings, and lists; notebooks; and reports. There are also accounts and vouchers, property records, contracts and leases, and other legal documents. A finding aid for the archival record group is available at the Edison National Historical Park. Related records can be found in the Document File Series, Notebook Series, Laboratory Records Series, and Family Records Series.
The records are arranged in seven series: (1) Corporate Documentation; (2) Thomas A. Edison Files; (3) John V. Miller Files; (4) Letterbooks; (5) Field Operations Records; (6) Financial Records; and (7) Property Records [not selected].
Corporate Documentation. These records cover the period 1902-1917, with a few items from the 1930s. They consist of articles of incorporation, bylaws, resolutions and minutes of the board of directors, agreements, licenses, correspondence, notes, and trial balances. Also included are a memorandum by attorney Henry Lanahan summarizing the history of MECNJ, a statement by Miller of Edison's assets and liabilities at the time of his death, and other items relating to Edison's estate.
Thomas A. Edison Files. These records cover the period 1900-1916, with most of the material dating from 1901-1908. Included are notes and drawings in Edison's hand, correspondence addressed to Edison, and prospecting reports. The documents relate to nickel and cobalt mines, ore samples, the purchase of ores, and property rights. Much of the correspondence pertains to the administration of Edison's mining properties in the Sudbury and Nipissing districts of Ontario, but there are also letters concerning property in Oregon, Connecticut, and elsewhere. A few items relate to Edison's interest in magnetic surveying and to a request from the U.S. Geological Survey for a hand- held magnetic separator. There is also an undated report by an unidentified author concerning the international nickel industry.
John V. Miller Files. These records cover the period 1901-1952, with most of the material dating from 1902-1904. Included are correspondence, reports, legal documents, equipment inventories, and other items relating primarily to the administration of mining surveys and properties in Ontario. There are documents pertaining to drilling operations, mining rights, and land leases, along with others dealing with expenses, equipment, and taxes. Several letters concern the acquisition and use of a magnetic dipping needle and a diamond drill. The material from the period after 1904 relates mainly to efforts to sell or option Edison's properties; after 1931 Miller conducted these activities on behalf of Edison's estate.
Letterbooks. These five letterbooks cover the period 1902-1913. They contain tissue copies of outgoing correspondence, mostly written by Miller as agent of MECNJ. There are also letters by other company officials, including Edison, Walter S. Mallory, and John F. Randolph. Most of the correspondence relates to leases, prospecting, equipment, and expenses. Also included are items pertaining to company finances.
Field Operations Records. These records cover the period 1900-1905, with some undated items that are possibly from the 1890s. They consist of notebooks, field journals, reports, maps, and other documents relating to mining surveys and drilling operations in Ontario, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and other locations.
Financial Records. These records cover the period 1901-1931, with most of the documents dating from 1901-1904. They consist of a ledger and a journal, along with cash books, vouchers, check stubs, unbound statements, and other items relating to the financial affairs of MECNJ. Included are entries pertaining to the accounts of Edison, Miller, and investors James Gaunt and Charles M. Schwab.
Property Records [not selected]. These records cover the period 1901-1932, with most of the documents dating from 1901-1903. They consist of leases and other documents relating to mining properties in the Sudbury district of Ontario. Many of the documents concern the transfer of mining leases and several bear Edison's signature.