[This note covers the "Phonograph" folders for both January-June and July-December 1913.]
This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to the commercial and technical development of Edison's cylinder and disc phonograph. Included are letters pertaining to public demonstrations of the Diamond Disc Phonograph, the selection of talent and music for recording, and the activities of Edisonâ€™s agents and of competitors such as the Columbia Phonograph Co. and the Victor Talking Machine Co. Several items mention Edison's recording studio in Milan, Italy, as well as properties relating to the phonograph business in New York City and London. Also included are letters regarding phonographs exhibited at the United States National Museum. In addition, there is a communication from Ernest J. Berggren, secretary-treasurer of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., reporting sales receipts, gross and net profits, and advertising expenditures for the dictating machine business, 1909-1912.
Many of the documents, including several undated items, were written by Edison or bear his marginalia. Other correspondents include longtime Edison associates Arthur Brisbane of the New York Journal, Marshall C. Lefferts of the Celluloid Co., British solicitor G. Croydon Marks, and Humbert F. Tosi, Edisonâ€™s representative in Italy. In addition to the correspondence, there are minutes from the Amusement Phonograph and Dictating Phonograph committees of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., along with numerous interoffice communications generated by company managers. The committee minutes appear at the end of the folder.
Approximately 50 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected material includes letters of acknowledgment and transmittal, lists of phonograph dealers, and unsolicited correspondence receiving no substantive reply from Edison. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.