These thirty-four pocket-sized notebooks cover the years 1911-1919. One additional book PN-10-00-00.2, which was probably used during the summer and fall of 1911appears in Thomas A. Edison Papers: A Selective Microfilm Edition, Part IV (1899-1910), reel 178. The books were used by Edison to record ideas about business matters, experiments to be tried, and other tasks to be performed. Some of the entries have been crossed out, and some were subsequently copied into other books.
The seventeen books for 1911-1915 relate to a variety of topics, including primary and storage batteries, disc and cylinder records, cement, and motion pictures. In addition to technical notes and drawings, there are notes about inventions to be patented, songs and recording artists, phonograph and record sales, advertising ideas, legal and patent matters, costs and salaries, and personnel issues. There are also cost estimates for the new chemical plants constructed after the outbreak of World War I, along with notes about projected phenol and benzol sales.
The thirteen books for 1916-1918 pertain primarily to submarine detection experiments and other research performed for the U.S. Navy during World War I, although there are also notes about disc records, batteries, and other topics. Some of the entries in these books were made aboard the USS Sachem in Long Island Sound and at the U.S. Naval Station in Key West, Florida, where Edison resided during February-April 1918.
The entries in the five books for 1919 relate to projects begun after Edison's return to West Orange in May 1918. Included are notes on improvements in the Lalande primary battery, the processing of lithium ores, the construction of disc record blanks, experiments with chalk telephones, and the development of a starter battery for the Ford automobile. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.