[The following note describes a series of volumes and has no documents attached to it. For that reason, a "no Documents found" message will appear if the "List Documents" button at the bottom of the note is used. To see the documents in the volumes described here, use the "Which Series Notes?" button to enter the Series Notes or use the "Next Text" button to move to the first item in the series.]
These seven volumes, which cover the period February 1878-July 1879, contain tissue copies of outgoing correspondence by officials of the Edison Speaking Phonograph Co. The first book consists primarily of letters by general agent Edward H. Johnson. The three treasurer's letterbooks contain correspondence by Johnson, Charles A. Cheever, and Charles E. Bailey. In addition, there are three phonograph agency books with correspondence by James Redpath, a Boston lyceum operator who became manager of the company's exhibition agencies. The documents relate 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 items providing instructions on how to operate the phonograph and discussing specifications of exhibitor contracts. A few letters concern poor attendance at exhibitions and ongoing improvements in various models of the phonograph.
Approximately 10 percent of the documents, including all substantive letters pertaining to the company's business operations, have been selected. The following categories have not been selected: letters of transmittal and acknowledgment; routine correspondence concerning the ordering and shipment of materials; letters about routine financial transactions; perfunctory or repetitive responses to individuals seeking exhibitors' contracts; responses to other unsolicited correspondence; and letters that merely duplicate the information in selected items.
Although every technical effort has been made to ensure the legibility of the documents, some of the correspondence is difficult to read. Some letters may be partially unreadable because of spreading or smearing ink or light imprints. Because of the difficulty of photocopying material near the spines of the volumes, there are occasional pages with obscured or missing writing.