The J. H. Vail Papers cover the period 1885-1888, with one item from 1900. The papers relate primarily to Vail's work as general superintendent of the Edison Electric Light Co., in which position he oversaw the design and construction of central stations. The items consist mainly of correspondence among Vail, Edison, and Edward H. Johnson regarding lamps, dynamos, and the technical and commercial development of central stations. Included is a copy of a memorandum from Edison to Johnson noting the advantages of alternating over direct current systems. There is also an Electrical Review article by Vail comparing the state of electric power technology in 1880 and 1900.
All of the documents have been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.