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These documents cover the years 1875-1891. They consist primarily of letters to and from Uriah H. Painter, a newspaperman, lobbyist, and Edison associate who was engaged in a variety of business enterprises. Among the other correspondents are Edison and various officials of the Edison Speaking Phonograph Co., which was organized in 1878 to lease Edison's tinfoil phonograph for exhibition. Included are letters relating to the management and finances of the company; exhibitions, advertisements, and promotions of the phonograph; and the assignment and activities of exhibitors throughout the United States and Canada. Also included are numerous letters from the 1880s pertaining to the development of Edison's electric light and to Painter's role as a stockholder and official in the Edison Co. for Isolated Lighting. A few letters deal with the early telephone industry and the competition between the Edison and Bell interests.
The selected documents are arranged in the following order: 1) Unbound Documents; 2) Edison Speaking Phonograph Co. Letterbooks; and 3) Edison Speaking Phonograph Co. Scrapbooks (Incoming Correspondence).
Among the unselected documents are numerous financial records of the Edison Speaking Phonograph Co. including one journal, one ledger, and one cash book for the period 1878-1880; sales, invoice, and order books for 1878-1880; and a stock book and stock transfer book for 1878-1888. Courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania