This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to the purchase and use of tools and raw materials in Edison's laboratory and factories. Included are lists of items wanted, prepared by Edison, along with marginalia written by Edison regarding the qualities of the products received. Among the documents for 1916 are letters pertaining to pulverizing mills, pianos, and custom-made thermometers. Some of these letters are marked "disc" or "disc phono," indicating that they relate to efforts to continue the production of phonograph records despite wartime shortages of raw materials. Among the correspondents are photographer Frank M. Steadman and chemical supplier William H. Scheel.
Approximately 10 percent of the documents have been selected, including all items relating to Edison's direct personal involvement in the ordering of equipment and supplies. The unselected material includes routine correspondence pertaining to orders and shipping, as well as variant copies of standard inquiry letters used by Edison to request catalogs, quotes, or samples. Most of this correspondence was handled by William H. Meadowcroft and George L. Ott. Also unselected are many sales letters from companies trying to interest Edison in their products, and interoffice communications between Archibald C. Emery and other Edison employees regarding purchasing, accounting, and record keeping. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.