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The unbound clippings cover the period 1887-1898. Most of the items were sent to Edison by clippings services. They are primarily taken from newspapers and popular magazines, although some are from technical journals and other printed sources such as published transactions. The majority of clippings are from American publications, but some are from British newspapers and other foreign journals and newspapers. The articles and interviews pertain to a variety of subjects, including the commercial and technical development of Edison's inventions and the personal affairs of Edison and his family. Included are items relating to Edison's return to phonograph experimentation in the late 1880s, his dispute with Ezra T. Gilliland and John C. Tomlinson, the talking doll, the Paris Exposition of 1889, the controversy over alternating and direct current, and the formation of the Edison General Electric Co. and its subsequent merger with Thomson-Houston. There is also material concerning motion pictures, x-rays, and Edison's gold separation experiments at the Ortiz mine in New Mexico.
The clippings are arranged by year, and then in rough chronological order within each year. In cases where several clippings have been taped onto a single sheet of paper, the page is organized according to the earliest legible date. Many of these sheets contain archival notations referring to the Document File folder in which the item was at one time filed. Other archival inscriptions can be found throughout.
Although the majority of clippings reproduced in this edition are originals, some are photocopies. Because of their deteriorating condition, all of the clippings at the Edison National Historical Park will eventually be photocopied, and the originals will be discarded.
Less than half of the clippings for the period 1887-1898 have been selected. Many of the unselected items relate to widely circulated stories that were published in numerous newspapers.
The clippings were microfilmed at a reduction ratio of 15:1. Clippings too large to be accommodated at that reduction appear on their sides.
Legibility note: Some of the clippings are very difficult to read because of the adhesive tape used to mount them, which has yellowed over the years. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.