The selected items in these folders cover the years 1914-1918, 1928, 1935-1936, and 1941. They consist primarily of correspondence between Edison's chief engineer, Miller Reese Hutchison, and Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. Other correspondents include Albert B. Meserlin, Hutchison's private secretary, and various civilian and military officials in the Navy Department, including Howard A. Banks, Frank Smith, and Daniel W. Wurtsbaugh. There are a few letters by Edison, including one in his hand, as well as other documents with marginal notations by Edison. Many of the letters deal with Hutchison's efforts to sell Edison storage batteries to the Navy Department for submarines, ship lighting, and other military applications. Other documents concern the roles of Hutchison and Edison as members of the Naval Consulting Board, which was established by Daniels in July 1915. There are also items regarding the explosion aboard the E-2 submarine, which had recently been equipped with Edison storage batteries, in January 1916; the subsequent investigation by the Naval Board of Inquiry; and the Edison-commissioned report by consulting engineer Lamar Lyndon. In addition, there are letters pertaining to the controversy over the location of the proposed Naval Research Laboratory and to an incident involving Joseph Levya young man impersonating Daniels's eldest son who borrowed money from Hutchison, the paymaster at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the superintendent of the Edison storage battery plant. The letters from 1928 discuss the death of Hutchison's son Harold in an aviation accident.
The correspondence from 1935-1936 and 1941 consists of reminiscences by Hutchison and Daniels of Edison, his wartime research, the work of the Naval Consulting Board, and the contentious relations among Edison, the Board, and the career officers of the U.S. Navy. Hutchison's letter of July 26, 1936, includes four brief extracts from his diary relating to the genesis of the Naval Consulting Board in July 1915. A letter from August 1936 contains Hutchison's prediction that "there will be another World War." Courtesy of the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.