This letterbook, a photocopy of which is owned by the Ford Museum, covers the period July 1887-April 1889. Almost all of the letters are by Wilson S. Howell, who was superintendent of the Edison Illuminating Co. of New Brunswick, New Jersey, before becoming an independent inspector of central stations. Among the correspondents are his brother John W. Howell; Edison company officials Frank S. Hastings, Samuel Insull, John H. McClement, and Francis R. Upton; engineers William D. Marks, Phillips B. Shaw, and Frank J. Sprague; and officials of the New Brunswick illuminating company. Included are letters relating to competition with Van Depoele electric railways; Howell's resignation from, and criticisms of, the New Brunswick illuminating company; his work for other local electric companies; and his role as treasurer of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. Also included are technical comments on brush design, equalizers, underground cable insulation, and a device for testing municipal circuits, along with a list of questions to assess dynamos.
The book contains 291 numbered pages. Less than 10 percent of the documents have been selected. Most of the unselected correspondence relates to account inquiries, payments, and orders for parts; travel arrangements and expenses; negotiations of terms of employment; and Howell's personal financial, legal, and family affairs. Also not selected are photocopies of a few letters from 1889-1892, which appear to be the initial pages of a second letterbook. Courtesy of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Research Center.