This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to Edison's membership in, and activities on behalf of, social clubs, professional societies, political groups, and civic and charitable organizations. Many of the letters include a request for some kind of support. Several ask for permission to use Edison's name in connection with their cause. Among the correspondents for 1917 are Thornton W. Allen of the National Bird Sanctuary Associates, city planner Edgar Chambless of the Roadtown Society, Prof. Douglas W. Johnson of the American Rights League, and James E. West of the Boy Scouts of America. Also included is a letter from Charles R. Flint regarding a mass meeting in celebration of the abdication of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, along with letters concerning a motion picture made at the September 1916 reunion of the Old Time Telegraphers Association. A communication from future U.S. Sen. Hamilton F. Kean, recording secretary of the American Geographical Society, informs Edison of his election as a fellow of the society.
Approximately 5 percent of the documents have been selected, including all letters that received a substantive response from Edison. The unselected material includes numerous requests for Edison to serve on committees dedicated to social, technological, or military issues, most of which received a form-letter reply; items marked by Edison for rejection; letters of transmittal; printed invitations, meeting announcements, reports, and membership certificates; and routine requests from Edison employees or associates for reference letters to allow them to join professional societies. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.