This folder consists primarily of letters from Thomas A. Edison, Jr. (1876-1935) to his stepmother, Mina Miller Edison. The letters cover the years 1890-1898. The earliest letters relate to Thomas's education at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. There are also letters written while he was working for his father at the New Jersey & Pennsylvania Concentrating works in Ogden (Edison), New Jersey. One letter, written four days after Thomas's twenty-first birthday, on January 14, 1897, announces his intention not to return to Ogden. "I feel that I never have pleased you in any thing I ever have done," he writes, "but I never will be satisfied untill I do and this will be my sole and only aim in this world."
The remaining 24 letters date from the period January 1897-January 1898. (An additional 27 letters for this period can be found in the Charles Edison Fund Collection, and the letters from both collections are characterized in this note.) Included are letters pertaining to his trip to the Midwest and South in January-February; his brief return to the mill during the Spring; his trip to the Adirondacks in June-July; his six-week stay at Chautauqua in August-September; his move to Asbury Park, New Jersey, at the end of September; and the organization of a company in New York City in October to market the "Edison Jr. Improved" lamp. The letters from this period are filled with self-deprecating remarks by Thomas about his inability to live up to the expectations of his father, his feelings of being unloved and out of place in the Edison household in West Orange, and his fear that he is losing his mind. There are several allusions to romantic involvements, as well as references to Thomas's desire to further his education and attend college.
Additional letters by Thomas A. Edison, Jr., can be found in the Charles Edison Fund Collection and the David E. E. Sloane Collection. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.