This letterbook covers the period Nov 1914-February 1915. Most of the correspondence is by Edison and William H. Meadowcroft. In addition to letters concerning the commercial development of disc phonographs and recordings, much of the correspondence relates to World War I and its disruption of markets for carbolic acid (or phenol), which Edison used in the manufacture of phonograph records. Numerous letters pertain to Edison’s move into the manufacture of chemicals for his businesses, with the construction of his own benzol absorbing plants, and the sale of his excess supplies. Included are documents regarding his sale of toluol to the British government through J. P. Morgan & Co., along with correspondence about industrial waste from Edison’s chemical works. The letters from 1915 contain numerous references to the fire of December 9, 1914, that destroyed or damaged more than half of the buildings in the West Orange laboratory complex. The correspondents include General Electric executive Charles A. Coffin; W. W. Richards of E. I. Du Pont de Nemeurs Powder Co.; the Cambria Steel Co. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Harger & Blish, phonograph dealers in Des Moines, Iowa.
The front cover is marked "T. A. E. Nov. 25, 1914. To Feb. 13, 1915." The spine is marked with similar information, along with the number "39." The book contains 710 numbered pages and an index. Approximately 20 percent of the book has been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.