[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 eleven letters are from Charles Edison to his older sister, Madeleine. One letter was partially written by their mother, Mina Miller Edison. The earliest letter dates from March 1903, when Charles was vacationing with his parents in Fort Myers, Florida. Most of the other letters are undated or partially dated. Four undated letters from 1906one sent from Fort Myerswere written while Madeleine was attending Oak Place School in Akron, Ohio. One of the letters discusses the origins of the phrase "23 Skidoo." Other letters from 1906 mention Thomas Edison's upcoming automobile trip to North Carolina (Charles also went along) and a "musical" with 270 invited guests hosted by Mina at Glenmont. An undated letter, probably from April 1908, thanks Madeleine for the "good time" Charles had visiting her at Bryn Mawr. Another letter from 1908 mentions a party that Charles attended at Glenmont during a Thanksgiving break from Hotchkiss School. An undated letter, probably from June 1909, inquires whether Madeleine and other family members plan to attend Charles's upcoming graduation from Hotchkiss.
A letter from October 1911, written one week after Madeleine returned with her parents from a two-month tour of Europe, describes excursions by Charles and MIT classmate Aurelius P. (Re) Hornor through western Massachusetts with "the Child" (Charles's automobile). Included is an account of visits to Worchester and Hingham to see friends Wanda Michalis and John P. Constable (who would marry in 1913), as well as a visit to Attleborough, where Charles met "a very attractive southern girl" who was living in a house owned by the son of Joseph E. Sheffield, founder of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale. Also included are comments about the impending move of MIT from downtown Boston to the Cambridge side of the Charles River and about the MIT Electrical Laboratory, which Charles discovered to be "full of stuff marked 'Edison.'" The last letter, dated November 1, 1913, and written from California, describes a visit with friends Francis and Curtis Upton to the San Joaquin valley, General Grant National Park, and the Lost Hills oil fields. Charles also mentions his plan to build an amusement park in San Francisco and his difficulties with the city's Board of Supervisors, whom he characterizes as "the cunningest bunch of crooks you ever saw."
Additional letters by Charles Edison in the David E. E. Sloane Collection can be found in Edison-Miller Family Papers -- Charles Edison Correspondence. An April 1918 letter from Charles to Madeleine regarding his spur-of-the-moment decision to marry Carolyn Hawkins can be found in Madeleine Edison and John Eyre Sloane Correspondence (1918). Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.