This folder contains correspondence and other documents concerning Edison's life story, his response to erroneous newspaper reports about him, his opinions regarding a variety of subjects, and numerous other matters. Among the items for 1918 is a letter to Edwin A. Elsbach of the California Society for the Prevention of Blindness in which Edison recalls his unsuccessful experiments in 1878 to develop an ink for the blind and expresses his willingness to "start some more experiments" once the war is over. Also included is correspondence with William J. Boyd about Edison's plan to trade U.S. coal for Cuban sugar; with Edward N. Hurley, chairman of U.S. Shipping Board, concerning suspicious cargo boats at Key West; and with Alfred F. Wagner of Thomas A. Edison, Ltd., in London in regard to an old contract with the Gas Light & Coke Co.
In addition, there are letters pertaining to the use of bacteria for stump removal in logged areas of the Pacific Northwest, a message in support of the International Typographical Union, and correspondence with the New York Police Department in which Edison expresses his desire to go through their Rogues Gallery "to get a line on crooks so that I won't get 'stung' so much." In response to an inquiry as to whether his wife ever became impatient with him for allowing others to take credit for his ideas, Edison responds that "my wife don't scold because so many people act unjustly that it would tire her out." A note from Captain (later Vice Admiral) John H. Dayton, commander of the USS Arizona, regrets his inability to attend a New Year's reception hosted by Edison.
Approximately 15 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected correspondence includes informational inquiries that received routine replies or that were referred elsewhere; declined requests for Edison's opinions, participation, or assistance in regard to war-related projects; unsolicited letters marked for no answer or for a routine response that Edison was away at sea experimenting for the government; letters of transmittal and acknowledgment; personal correspondence by Edison's assistant, William H. Meadowcroft; and printed matter sent to Edison such as tickets, invitations, and programs. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.