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These letters are primarily from Madeleine Edison Sloane to her husband, John Eyre Sloane. There are also letters by Mina Miller Edison and by Henry Ford's assistant, Frank Campsall, along with a newspaper clipping from 1929 about Madeleine's children, Thomas (Ted), John (Jack), and Peter Sloane. The five dated letters by Madeleine from 1927 were written in early July and relate to Madeleine's vacation with her children in Franconia, New Hampshire. Included are comments about the differing personalities of the three children, a poison ivy infection from which Peter was recovering, and Thomas Edison's negative reaction toward the house in Llewellyn Park that the Sloanes were constructing. There are also remarks, some of a deprecating character, about Madeleine's Bryn Mawr schoolmate Elsa Denison Voorhees, who was summering in Franconia with her three children.
The two letters from 1928 were written by Mina Edison from the family's winter home in Fort Myers, Florida. Included are comments about the health problems of Thomas Edison, who was recovering from a stomach ailment, and the impending removal of the Fort Myers laboratory to Greenfield Village, the outdoor museum constructed by Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. There is also discussion of the marital difficulties between longtime Glenmont servant Lena McCarthy Doyle and her second husband, Joseph Phillips, who died a few weeks later under unexplained circumstances. Mina's letters also contain a number of self-deprecating remarks, including a comment that "I have had the feeling for so long that I have been a nuisance and of no use."
The four letters from 1929 were written by Madeleine in July and August, while she and the children were vacationing in Osterville, Massachusetts, a village on Nantucket Sound known for its oceanfront estates. Included are references to Thomas Edison's health, a speech by Mina Edison at Chautauqua, and friends Jessie Bredt, Marie Cozzens, and Bob Halgrim. Also included are Madeleine's observations about age ("I can't tell you how I feel about being forty and being considered about 100 by these young people") and about gender roles (women "lose all their looks and nobody wants them anymore" while "a man is always acceptable"), along with expressions of resentment that her husband was complimenting younger women whom he barely knew while ignoring her.
The two letters from 1930 are by Mina Edison. A letter from January discusses the Edisons' first and only Christmas in Fort Myers, while a communication from August mention a diploma given to Mina by the Chautauqua Institution and a fall sustained by Thomas while she was away. A letter by Mina from February 1931 congratulates Madeleine on the birth of her fourth son, Michael Edison Sloane, and mentions other possible names for the baby. Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.