This letterbook covers the period November 1916-January 1917. Most of the correspondence is by Edison and William H. Meadowcroft. Some of the correspondence pertains to the commercial and technical development of the phonograph. Included are letters discussing customer relations, voice trials by recording artists, selections for music catalogs, and experiments involving microscopic examination of violin strings. There is also correspondence concerning Edisonâ€™s storage battery, his benzol absorbing plants and other chemical manufacturing interests, and the development of educational motion pictures. Other letters relate to the death of longtime Edison associate and investor James Gaunt; Edisonâ€™s friendship with horticulturalist Luther Burbank, naturalist John Burroughs, and industrialist Henry Ford; and the receipt of an autographed photograph from President Woodrow Wilson. In addition, there are letters containing Edisonâ€™s opinions on financial, political, and technical matters, along with items regarding the collection of books for his libraries. The correspondents include industrialist Harvey Firestone, George F. Kunz of Tiffany & Co., Henry Fordâ€™s personal secretary Ernest G. Liebold, and representatives of Mitsui & Co.
The spine is stamped "Letters" and is marked "T.A.E. From Nov. 7, 1918 To Jan. 23, 1917." The number "53" also appears on the spine. The book contains 700 numbered pages and an index. Approximately 20 percent of the book has been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.