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This collection consists of loose pages of handwritten, transcribed excerpts from the diary of Edison associate Miller Reese Hutchison. Inventor of the Klaxon horn and other devices, Hutchison first met Edison in 1897, when Hutchison was developing his Acousticon aid for the hearing impaired. In 1907 he visited Edison's laboratory and noted the inventor's interest in using producer gas as fuel in cement kilns. In 1910 he visited again and became interested in Edison's alkaline storage battery. Hutchison became chief engineer at the West Orange laboratory in August 1912. He was particularly interested in submarine applications for the storage battery, and he acquired the rights to sell Edison batteries to the federal government. For that purpose, he formed Miller Reese Hutchison, Inc., in 1916. His direct connection with Edison and the various Edison companies ended in 1918, although in 1919 he tried to help John Monnot renegotiate a contract for storage battery sales rights in Europe.
The transcribed excerpts were prepared by Hutchison, possibly sometime between 1927 and his death in 1944, and they may have formed part of a small number of personal effects purchased from Hutchison's estate by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Individual sets of transcriptions cover the periods May-June 1902, 1907-1914, and scattered months from 1919, as well as Hutchison's Christmas and New Year's holidays from 1907 until 1932. For several periods, there are multiple versions of the transcribed excerpts. A 42-page set entitled "My Ten Years with Edison" contains entries from October 1907 through February 1912 relating specifically to Edison and to Hutchison's work on storage batteries. Another 9-page set with the same title, which covers the years 1907-1933, is a partial index to the diary. The diary itself has not been located. A finding aid for the archival record group is available at the Edison National Historical Park. Related material can be found in the "Miller Reese Hutchison, Inc." folder in the Edison Storage Battery Company Records.
The selected transcriptions provide a continuous account of Hutchison's life and his association with Edison from April 1910 through December 1914. Also included are the scattered excerpts from 1919; the separate transcriptions for New Year's holidays from 1910 through 1922; and the 42-page set, "My Ten Years with Edison." The entries discuss activities at the laboratory, including problems with components of the Edison storage battery, and provide details regarding work with Edison. Hutchison describes Edison's long hours at the laboratory, notes the inventor's occasional travels away from home, and indicates his association with employees, friends, and acquaintances. The unselected excerpts either do not pertain to Edison or duplicate the information in the selected material.
The documents are arranged in the following order: (1) "My Ten Years with Edison," 1907-1912; (2) Diary Entries, 1910-1914, 1919; (3) New Year's Holidays, 1910-1922. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.