This letterbook covers the period December 1911-March 1912. Most of the correspondence is by Edison and Harry F. Miller. There are also some letters by George A. Meister and William H. Meadowcroft. Many of the items relate to the commercial and technical development of Edison's alkaline storage battery in the United States and Europe, including the pursuit of financial backing from J. P. Morgan & Co. and the use of batteries in automobiles, locomotives, and safety lamps for miners. There are also letters pertaining to Edison's phonograph and motion picture businesses, the choice of suitable music and singers for phonograph recordings, and the development of educational filmsa project for which William Walter Dinwiddie was hired during December 1911. In addition, there are letters to Charles M. Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Co. referring to a visit with Edison at his laboratory by the Argentinian naval delegation; Max U. Schoop, pioneer developer of thermal spray devices for coating metals, regarding his proposal to treat phonograph plates with nickel tinsel; and physician and author Joseph Grandson Byrne concerning his medical survey on the causes of seasickness. There is also a letter pertaining to Edison's collaboration with Henry B. Clifford, who sought to use Edison's mining and milling technologies at sites in Colorado. Other letters mention the final illness of Mary Valinda Miller, Edison's mother-in-law; the preservation of laboratory buildings from Menlo Park; and the fate of other old machinery and equipment. There are also inquiries concerning either Edison's proposed poured concrete house or its model; correspondence with New York sculptors Frank E. Elwell and James Earl Fraser; and letters relating to books read by Edison or added to his library, the inventor's donations to charities, his membership in organizations, and his reminiscences about acquaintances from earlier in his career. A few letters discuss the work of former employees.
The front cover is marked "T.A. E. Letter Book From December, 4,1911 To March, 6, 1912." The spine is marked with similar information, along with the number "27." The book contains 700 numbered pages and an index. Approximately 15 percent of the book has been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.