This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to the technical and commercial development of motion pictures in the United States and other countries. Among the documents for 1917 is a letter from Edison's assistant William H. Meadowcroft to Harper & Brothers recounting the inventor's early work on motion pictures. Also included is a letter from Eugene Lauste, a former Edison employee who subsequently played an important role in the development of talking pictures, along with a letter from Paul A. Strachan, written shortly after the beginning of the Russian Revolution, regarding his plan to use films to teach the Russians about American democracy. In addition, there is a letter to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels about making films at the U.S. Naval Academy, an interoffice communication about a film of the Edison family, and a telegram from D. W. Griffith, Adolph Zukor, and several other industry leaders in regard to a meeting of the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry.
Approximately 15 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items include business correspondence handled by Carl H. Wilson, vice president of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., and Leonard W. McChesney, manager of the Motion Picture Division. Also unselected are unsolicited inquiries, suggestions, and offers of inventions, many relating to talking pictures. Most of these letters received no answer or a routine reply stating that Edison was no longer in the business. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.