[This note covers all of the notebooks in Group 5: Chemical Laboratory.]
The forty-one notebooks in this group contain routine reports of ore assays, chemical analyses, and other work performed in the chemical laboratory of the West Orange laboratory complex during the period April 1899-March 1913. They were used by many Edison employees, including Cloyd M. Chapman, Peter C. Christensen, and Ludwig F. Ott. Occasional notations by Edison indicate his attention to their work. Among the tasks reported are assays of copper, gold, iron, and nickel ores, as well as cement rock. There are also reports of quantitative and qualitative analyses of various materials and chemical compounds such as pig iron and soft coal, along with analyses of ingredients and components used for phonograph record blanks. There are some entries relating to the production of storage batteries, including analyses of the acid baths used to produce nickel flake for battery electrodes. The books contain a variety of other experimental and test reports, including one on the "preservation of horse dung." Entries in German are scattered throughout several of the books. In addition to the entries by Chapman, Christensen, and Ott, the books contain notes by other laboratory employees, including O. R. Foster, Horace W. Gillett, Otto Groethe, Henry S. Harris, Harold Kirschberg, Ross Phillips, Robert Rafn, John O. Roos, John C. Shengle, H. L. Shock, and F. W. Weber.
The one selected notebook, N-05-12- 21, was used primarily by Ott. It contains extended marginal notations by Edison indicating the results of solubility tests and other experiments related to the production of components for storage batteries. Only the portion of the book with Edison's notes has been selected. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.