This folder contains correspondence and other documents concerning Edisonâ€™s friendship and collaboration with industrialist Henry Ford. Among the items for 1919 are detailed suggestions by Edison about improvements in the Dearborn Independent, a newspaper recently acquired by Ford that would later become notorious for its anti-Semitic content. Edison characterized the newspaper as "a dreary proposition for the man whom Ford wants to reach" and mentioned the Literary Digest and National Geographic as models of a popular magazine. There are also numerous letters and telegrams pertaining to preparations for a camping trip in the Adirondacks undertaken by Edison, Ford, naturalist John Burroughs, and manufacturer Harvey S. Firestone in August 1919. Other letters discuss Edison's work on a self-starter battery for the Ford automobile and the possibilities of developing water power in western New Jersey. The correspondents include Firestone, Ford's executive secretary Ernest G. Liebold, and Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels (characterized by Liebold as a "warm personal friend" of Ford), who expressed regrets about his inability to participate in the camping trip.
Approximately 60 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected material includes unsolicited letters from individuals attempting to reach Ford through Edison, additional telegrams and correspondence between Liebold and Meadowcroft, and items (mainly about camping plans) that duplicate the information in the selected documents.
Documents relating to Ford can also be found in E-19-03 (Articles), E-19-14 (Charities and Loans), E-19-55 (Personal), and other folders in the 1919 Edison General File. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.