This folder contains correspondence and other documents pertaining to World War I, which the United States entered on April 6, 1917, and to Edison's opinions about war-related matters. Because the inventor was preoccupied with his work on government projects, especially during the second half of the year, he saw very little of the correspondence sent to him by the general public. Among the selected items for 1917 is a telegram from future Nobel Peace Prize winner Emily G. Balch, attorney and socialist leader Morris Hillquit, future Pulitzer Prize winner Louis P. Lochner, and Zionist leader Judah L. Magnes, requesting permission to use Edison's name in connection with an upcoming peace conference, along with a response by Edison declining the request. Other correspondents include French engineer H. Japy de Beaucourt, political cartoonist Rollin Kirby, and phonograph dealer W. D. Wilmot.
Approximately 5 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items include letters, essays, and articles containing personal views about the war, along with requests for Edison's opinion or endorsement. Also not selected are plans for citizen resistance to foreign invasion, drawn up by inventor and Naval Consulting Board member Hudson Maxim but not acknowledged by Edison; plans to ensure postwar world peace; government documents on the Americanization of immigrants; and other printed matter. Most of these items are marked "no ans"; a small number received routine acknowledgments and apologies.
Documents pertaining to Edison's experimental work for the U.S. Navy during the war can be found in E-17-90 (World War I -- Experimental Work) and in numerous other folders in the Edison General File, as well as in the Naval Consulting Board and Wartime Research Papers, Special Collections Series. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.