[This collection is currently being edited. For that reason, no images will appear if the "List Documents" button at the bottom of the note is used.]
These documents consist of two items in the hand of Thomas Edison, along with several news clippings mentioning him. A three-page memorandum in tabular form, which probably dates from the summer of 1885, lists the names of various friends, acquaintances, and business associates and evaluates them according to the following attributes: eyes light or dark, eyes beautiful or otherwise, hair blond or brunette, temper, happily or unhappily married, nose, affectionate or not, tall or short, educated or not, mouth, handsome or homely, lips thin or thick, and ambition. The first name on the list is Edison's close associate Charles Batchelor, who is assessed as having dark but ordinary eyes; brunette hair; ordinary nose and lips; a good mouth; and medium height. He is ranked medium in the handsome-or-homely category and is characterized as being mild in temper, unhappily married, affectionate, ordinary in education, and ambitious. Following Charles on the list is his wife, Rosanna, and associates John C. Tomlinson, Charles L. Clarke, and Edward H. Johnson along with their spouses. Family friends Henry and Josephine Reimer are listed next, followed by Ezra and Lillian Gilliland, Edison, and several women he met during the summer of 1885, including his future wife Mina Miller. Mina is characterized as being handsome in appearance, mild in temperament, affectionate, and ambitious.
Near the bottom of the second page are entries for "Mina's Father" (Lewis Miller), "Mother" (Mary Valinda Miller), and three other family members whom Edison may have met while attending the Chautauqua Institution in August 1885Mina's older brothers Edward and Lewis and an unnamed uncle. At the top of the third page are the names of two other close associates"Sammy" (Samuel Insull) and "Toppy" (Frank W. Toppan, who would serve as best man at Edison's wedding). The list concludes with five hypothetical pairings: Edison and (Louise) Igoe, Edison and Daisy (Gaston), Mina and Jim Gilliland, Daisy and Jim, and Jim and Lillian ("Mrs. E.T.G."). The first ten entries are written in ink; the remaining entries are in pencil. The entries appear to have been made over a period of time. Seven names at the top of the second page have been removed.
The other item in Edison's hand is a folded card dating from the late 1880s or early 1890s addressed to "Mrs. Miller." On the inside is the menu for a formal dinner ending with black coffee and cigars. Opposite the menu are eleven signatures, including Edison, Mina, Marion Edison, Lewis Miller, and Bishop John Heyl Vincent. In the same folder is a card (not in Edison's hand) addressed to Miss Mary Miller bearing the date August 25, 1901. There are thirteen signatures, including Mina M. Edison.
The two sets of newspaper clippings date from 1886 and 1919. The first is a series of clippings on a page that may have been removed from a scrapbook. There are eight clippings on each side of the page. The two that refer to Edison both announce his impending marriage to Mina Miller. The 1919 clipping is from the Philadelphia Record. Entitled "Mr. Edison's story," it relates a humorous anecdote supposedly told by Edison. Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.