This folder contains correspondence and other documents pertaining to the authorized and unauthorized use of Edison's name for advertising, trademark, and other purposes. Among the items for 1918 are letters relating to the use of Edison's name by the National Institute of Inventors, which was suspected of being a German front organization. Also included are letters, clippings, and investigative reports concerning the Edison Patents Co., an organization that was capitalizing on the Edison name to appeal to would-be inventors.
In addition, there are letters regarding Edison's endorsement of the Locomobile Limousine; the use by General Electric of the Edison Mazda trademark in Uruguay; and the inventor's objections to the identification of Theodore Alfred Edison, author of a manual on telegraphy, as simply "T. A. Edison." A communication from Charles Edison questions the advisability of his father's "liberal" policy in regard to the use of his name by outside interests. Other correspondents include Delos Holden and Joseph F. McCoy of the Legal Dept.; John W. Kirkland, vice president of the South African General Electric Co.; John B. Taltavall, publisher of Telegraph and Telephone Age; and "scientific entertainer" and former Edison employee Montraville M. Wood.
Approximately 30 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected correspondence includes items pertaining to children named after Edison, as well as a fruit tree named in his honor; requests and inquiries that received routine replies; and printed material and additional correspondence related to the name-use cases in the selected documents. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.