This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to the technical and commercial development of motion pictures in the United States and other countries. In addition to the incoming letters, there are interoffice communications by Leonard W. McChesney, general manager of the Motion Picture Division of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., and other company executives, employees, and experimenters. Many of the documents bear marginalia by Edison. Included are items pertaining to Edison's kinetophone (his system for talking motion pictures) and his Home Kinetoscope. There are also references to inflammable film stock, scientific and educational films, and the color processes of William Friese-Greene, John H. Powrie, and the Tricolor Animatograph Syndicate, Ltd. A communication to Powrie from Carl H. Wilson, general manager of TAE Inc., remarks that "we do not care to assume any further expense in connection with the development of your inventions in color photography."
Also included are letters inviting Edison to serve as honorary president of the Motion Picture Board of Tradean offer that he ultimately declinedand a draft letter to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise expressing Edison's opinions about Jews, Irish, and German Americans. In addition, there is a series of weekly statements by McChesney, a sample of which has been selected, reporting on films ordered by the General Film Co. and Greater New York Film Rental Co. Other correspondents include motion picture pioneers J. Stuart Blackton and George Kleine; U.S. Senator Charles Curtis; Daniel Frohman, theater manager and president of the Actors' Fund of America; engineer and longtime Edison associate Adolph F. Gall; potato expert Eugene H. Grubb; curator Edgar R. Harlan; actress June Keith; and Prof. Frederick H. Newell, former director of the U.S. Reclamation Service.
Approximately 40 percent of the documents have been selected. The material not selected consists primarily of duplicates, letters of transmittal and acknowledgment, and unsolicited correspondence that received no substantive reply from Edison. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.