This folder contains correspondence and other documents concerning Edison's charitable contributions, financial assistance, and donations of equipment. Some of the letters relate to the Victory Loan drive, the campaign for the League of Nations, and postwar relief and reconstruction. Also included are letters pertaining to former employees and relatives of former employees, hospitals and medical causes, children's agencies, universities, and the arts.
Among the items for 1919 are letters to philanthropist William Guggenheim and to former U.S. Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte warning them about the use of their names by the militantly nationalistic American Defense Society. Other correspondents include former Edison associate William M. Allison, Jr.; former Manhattan Borough President George A. McAneny; Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Richard C. Maclaurin; community activist Harriet Duff Phillips of the Brashear Assn.; Cornelia May Russell, daughter of former Edison employee James A. Russell; and Naval Consulting Board member William L. Saunders. There are also numerous interoffice communications and comments on the incoming letters by Edison's personal business secretary Richard W. Kellow, who handled the inventor's gifts and donations, and by Edison's personal assistant William H. Meadowcroft.
Approximately 10 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected material includes circulars and other printed material sent by organizations; documents pertaining to phonograph donations; requests from individuals claiming to know Edison personally, some with brief marginalia by Edison indicating that he disagreed; and routine form-letter replies.
Related material regarding the League of Nations and Victory Loan drive can be found in E-19-58 (Politics). Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.