This folder contains correspondence with individuals and groups planning to meet with Edison or visit his laboratory and factories, arranging for others to meet him, or thanking Edison for a recent visit. Among the items for 1919 is correspondence pertaining to visits by numerous representatives and guests of Mitsui & Co., Edison's Japanese business associates. Included is a letter from Baron Shimpei Goto, former Japanese foreign minister and former president of the South Manchuria Railway Co., who debated with Edison about whether the Japanese government was democratic or autocratic and militaristic. Also included are letters relating to visits by M. Koizumi, an electrical engineer with the South Manchuria Railway Co., and by Cmdr. Masato Sugi of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Other visitors or prospective visitors include Welsh singer Clara Novello Davies and her son, composer Ivor Novello; industrial chemist Camille Dreyfus; Victor Alexander John Hope, Marquess of Linlithgow, and his brother Lord Charles Hope; Russian corporal and violinist Paul M. Iogolevitch; and chemical engineer William Hultz Walker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There is also correspondence with W. Strother Smith of the U.S. Navy Dept. concerning William R. Hinsdale, an amateur inventor whose attempts to visit Edison at the laboratory were repeatedly rebuffed by his assistant William H. Meadowcroft, who characterized himself as "occupy[ing] the position of buffer between the World and Mr. Edison."
Approximately 40 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items include correspondence about possible future visits at unspecified times, on unspecified topics, or with unspecified people, especially those whom Meadowcroft believed were trying to obtain a favor or sell something. Also unselected are autograph and photograph requests, letters of thanks or acknowledgment, routine replies stating that Edison was away or too busy, and items duplicating the information in the selected documents. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.