[This folder has not been completely edited. Letters are currently being added, and documents identified as "to be edited" may not have images or complete database information. In addition, the information in the folder target (editorial description) may not be up-to-date.]
These letters are by Ann Osterhout Edison (1901-1993), wife of Theodore Edison and daughter-in-law of Mina Miller Edison. Although some sources state that Ann was enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the time she met Theodore, she did her undergraduate work at Vassar College, from which she received a degree in 1925. She met Theodore, who had graduated from MIT in 1923 and had remained there to pursue graduate studies, through a mutual friend in January 1924. They became engaged around the end of June and married on April 25, 1925.
The letters, which are addressed primarily to Mina Edison, cover the years 1924-1931. Some have postscripts or other comments by Theodore. Included are references to Thomas Edisonâ€™s health and celebrity, his failing phonograph business, and the management of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., as well as the family life and business careers of Theodore and his brother, Charles. Also included are remarks relating to recording systems, Edisonâ€™s cement works, the development of radio, the activities of the Emark Battery Corp. (which manufactured starter batteries for Ford automobiles), and the incorporation of Theodore's company, Calibron Products, Inc., in 1931. In addition, there are comments concerning motion pictures made at Seminole Lodge, Edisonâ€™s winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, and the upkeep of Glenmont, the Edison's home in Llewellyn Park, New Jersey. A letter from February 1931 describes the christening of Michael Edison Sloane, youngest son of Ann's sister-in-law Madeleine Edison Sloane (Ann was Michael's godmother). Other letters from the early 1930s discuss the civic activities of Ann Edison, including her involvement in the Chamber of Commerce of the Oranges, her relief work during the Great Depression, her promotion of "Clean Up Week" in the local towns, and her efforts to have school children tested for deafness.
All of the letters through 1931 (the year of Thomas Edison's death) have been selected. They are primarily from Book #25 on the Charles Edison Fund microfilm. There are also two letters from Book #15. Click here for a list of all the correspondence books on the microfilm. Click here for a list of boxes containing correspondence not on the microfilm. Courtesy of the Charles Edison Fund.