[Additional documents were added to this folder in May 2008. These can be identified by the designation " TAEM 0:0" in the information box above the document image.]
The year 1887 was a transitional period for Edison's office staff. Samuel Insull, who had served as private secretary since 1881, began taking a more active role in managing Edison's business interests, especially the Edison Machine Works, and began assigning many of his secretarial responsibilities to Alfred O. Tate. By the end of the year, Tate had officially assumed the position of Edison's private secretary.
This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to Insull's role as Edison's secretary and business manager, along with occasional items pertaining to his private life. Included are numerous letters by Insull, instructing Tate to act on his behalf in matters concerning the payment of overdue bills, stock transfers, the discounting of promissory notes, and other financial affairs involving Edison and himself. There is also correspondence regarding a personal dispute between Insull and Tate. In addition, this folder contains those letters addressed to Insull in his capacity as Edison's secretary or representative that do not fall under the main subject categories.
Approximately 20 percent of the documents have been selected. All of the documents that provide significant information about Edison or his companies, along with a few significant pieces of Insull's personal correspondence, have been selected. The following categories of documents have not been selected: routine letters pertaining to bookkeeping and accounts; requests for Insull to act as an intermediary with Edison; routine documents regarding Tate's handling of Edison's and Insull's business dealings; routine correspondence concerning the various Edison companies; documents relating to Insull's private affairs.
Letters addressed to Insull that deal with a specific subject or the business of a particular company can be found in their appropriate subject folders. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.