These four letters from Mina Miller Edison to her youngest son, Theodore, date from October and November 1919. They were written during Theodore's first semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Each of the letters contains an inscription at the top in Theodore's handwriting indicating why he thought the letter was worth saving. Several of the letters discuss Theodore's interest in joining the Number Six Clubthe MIT chapter of the Fraternity of Delta Psi, so named because of the location of its house at 6 Louisburg Square in the Beacon Hill section of Boston. (Charles Edison had been a member of Delta Psi during his years at MIT, 1909-1912). Also included are Mina's reminiscences about living in Boston during the 1880s.
The letters contain comments about various members of the Edison and Miller families, including Madeleine Edison Sloane and her two children, Charles Edison, John V. Miller, and Edison's nephew Charles Edison Poyer. Topics discussed in the letters include Mina's concerns about Charles's management of Thomas A. Edison, Inc.; a romance with Miss Rossen (probably Elizabeth P. Rossen of Montclair), which John had recently terminated; and Madeleine's move out of Glenmont to a house 314 Tillou Road in South Orange. Other topics mentioned in the correspondence include Mina's reactions to newspaper reports that seemed to confirm the theories of "our friend Einstein" (she called them "quite upsetting") and the stroke suffered by President Woodrow Wilson in October that left him almost totally incapacitated. Mina's feelings of inadequacy and depression, which are well documented in the correspondence from this period, are revealed in her last letter, which Theodore labeled "Bluessave": "I feel as though it was time for me to disappear from this EarthMy usefulness is over and I cannot influence or help any one and all seems so hopeless to me.
Click here for a list, in Theodore Edison's handwriting, of all the letters sent by Mina Edison, October 1919-May 1924. Courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution Archives, Oliver Archives Center.