This collection contains photocopies of documents relating to longtime General Electric employee Joseph De Mott Fredericks (1876-1964). After working briefly for the United States Electric Lighting Co., Fredericks was hired as a tool boy and time keeper in the machine shop of the General Electric Lamp Works in Harrison, New Jersey. He subsequently became assistant superintendent of GE's Newark Works and, in 1907, superintendent. In 1919 he became assistant to the manager of the Edison Lamp Works in Harrison. In 1927 he was transferred to the Manufacturing General Department as assistant to the vice president, William R. Burrows. He retired in February 1941 after fifty years of service.
Most of the collection consists of documents relating to Fredericks's work at General Electric. There is no evidence of Edison involvement, and these items have not been selected. However, there are also some documents from the early 1880s pertaining to Edison's search for bamboo and other fibers for use as filaments in his incandescent lamp. One of these is an eight-page letter from John C. Branner, whom Edison hired to search for fibers in South America. The first two pages of this letter are in the archives of the Edison National Historical Park and appear in the Document File Series of Part II. Photocopies of the remaining six pages, along with a two-page attachment, were found in the Fredericks Collection. For the sake of completeness, images of the entire letter are presented here and in D-81-23 (Electric Light -- Edison Electric Lamp Co -- General).
There are also items relating to William H. Moore's fiber search in Japan and other parts of Asia and to subsequent tests on the fibers collected by Moore; a price list of Edison electric lamps issued by the Edison United Manufacturing Co.; a table of lamps manufactured and sold during the period November 1888-October 1889; and other-lamp related documents. In addition, there is a letter of recommendation for Fredericks, written in December 1890 by John H. Wesler, a foreman for the United States Electric Lighting Co.
Some items were cut off at their edges when they were photocopied during the early 1980s, and, as a result, some of the text is missing. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.