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These documents cover the years 1880-1947, although most of the items date from the 1930s. They consist primarily of letters and reminiscences by various Edison friends and associates, collected by the Edison Institute (now the Greenfield Village Research Center) at the Ford Museum. Several were written in response to inquiries by Francis Jehl and William A. Simonds, both of whom served as historical curators at the museum and wrote works on Edison’s life. Included are recollections by Edison’s childhood friends, coworkers on the Grand Trunk Railroad, and fellow telegraph operators. Also included are medical reports by Frank J. Sladen, physician-in-chief at the Henry Ford Hospital, on Edison’s health during the late 1920s.
The files are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the friend or associate. Some of the individuals are the authors of the correspondence and reminiscences, while others are merely mentioned in the documents. Material from the following files has been selected: