This folder contains correspondence and financial reports relating to the research conducted by Edison on various projects for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army. In addition to Edison, his personal business secretary Richard W. Kellow, and his personal assistant William H. Meadowcroft, the correspondents include Brigadier General William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance; Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War; William L. Saunders, Chairman of the Naval Consulting Board; and Edison's youngest son, Theodore M. Edison. The documents pertain to Edison's agreement to work on various military problems, including some suggested by Crozier, and to be reimbursed for his material and labor costs. Other items include a critical report from the Navy Bureau of Ordnance concerning Edison's plan for a ship-launched smokescreen shell, regular bills submitted by Edison to the U.S. Government, and undated technical instructions to Ludwig F. ("Louis") Ott about chemical mixtures for an incendiary bomb and a stupefying gas.
Approximately 40 percent of the documents have been selected, including all of the substantive correspondence, a small number of technical notes directly relating to Edison, and about half of the financial material. Unselected documents include calculations and drawings by other experimenters (most of whom are unidentified), various printed tables and specifications, payment forms issued by the Army and Navy in connection with Edison's expense claims, and correspondence about minor accounting questions handled by Meadowcroft and Kellow. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.