[The following note describes a series of notebooks and has no documents attached to it. For that reason, a "no Documents found" message will appear if the "List Documents" button at the bottom of the note is used. To see the notebooks described here, use the "Which Series Notes?" button to enter the Series Notes or use the "Next Text" button to move to the first item in the series.]
The twelve notebooks in this group cover the period January 1900-January 1911 and are divided into three subgroups. They were used by Edison employees, including Ignacy Goldstein, Alexander N. Pierman, John C. Shengle, and Charles N. Wurth. Occasional notations by Edison indicate his attention to their work. The books also contain notes by other laboratory employees, including Peter C. Christensen, Paul S. Laverty, John F. Ott, Frederick P. Ott, and Martin A. Rosanoff.
Ten notebooks have been selected, along with one loose item from N-09-01-03. Of the unselected books, N-03-01-07 was abandoned after five pages of perfunctory notes on cylinders; and N-09-01-03 contains extensive foreign-language entries that are summarized in the selected loose item, a letter from Goldstein to Edison.
This subgroup contains general notebooks that focus on the chemical composition, hardness, durability, and molding of record cylinders and discs. The research documented in these books ranges from tests of waxes and metallic soaps for cylinders to later work with shellac and other resinous compounds for discs.
This subgroup contains notebooks that relate specifically to the work of John C. Shengle and his assistants in the chemistry laboratory of the West Orange laboratory complex. These books focus primarily on the chemical composition of record cylinders. Books 2-4 contain numbered experiments 666-1045. At the beginning of Book 2 are additional notes on a variety of chemical experiments and analyses dealing with ores, batteries, waxes, and acetylene. Book 1 has not been found.
This subgroup contains three notebooks regarding the phonograph machine itself and includes material on the improvement of recording and reproducing mechanisms. The first book contains two pages of notes by Frederick P. Ott on diaphragms. The second book covers the period 1905-1910 and was used by Charles N. Wurth, a long-time Edison employee, to describe his work on phonograph recorders, reproducers, and attachments, as well as the composition of records and the duplication of masters for record manufacture. Also included are a few experiments on a combined phonograph and motion picture device. The third book is from the Legal Department Records and pertains to the patent interference case, Dennison v. Pierman (no. 28,395). It contains Alexander N. Pierman's notes on a pneumatic amplifier, a device that is also mentioned in Wurth's notes.