This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to the commercial and technical development of Edison's alkaline storage battery. Most of the letters are responses to an advertisement placed by Edison in Iron Age and numerous newspapers soliciting investors and promoters for his "Country House Lighting System"a plan to illuminate rural homes located beyond gas and electric mains. Included is a compilation of estimated costs and service plans, along with correspondence concerning a successful scheme for lighting houses with storage batteries in Norfolk, Virginia. Other items, including a note from Charles Edison, discuss plans to outfit a "Show House" near Edison's home in Llewellyn Park, New Jersey. The selected letters are primarily from prospective investors who had previous connections with Edison. Samples of Edison's standard replies and marginalia have also been included.
Among the correspondents are Robert Colwell, an acquaintance of Edison's former business associate Robert H. Thompson; Charles H. Mixer, who worked with Edison as a telegrapher in Louisville during the 1860s; longtime associate Cornelius E. Nestor, president of the Nestor Electric Vehicle Co.; Alfred J. Voyer, an office boy at 66 Broadway in New York City during the late 1870s; and Will C. Turner, co-founding secretary and manager of the Edison Electric Light Co. of Columbus, Ohio. Also included is a letter by electrical engineer George A. Mullen containing reminiscences about Edison, Frank J. Sprague, and Samuel Insull at the Pearl Street central station.
Less than 10 percent of the documents have been selected. The items not selected consist primarily of letters from prospective investors and duplicate material, including a typed copy of Edison's enumerated "Uses for Edison Battery" from October 1911. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.