These documents consist primarily of letters and postcards from Mina Miller Edison to her youngest son, Theodore. There is also one letter from Theodore to Mina. Most of documents were written during March-April 1916 when the Edisons were vacationing at Seminole Lodge, their winter home in Fort Myers, Florida. The first item is a postcard that Mina wrote in Washington on the way to Florida, in which she remarks that this would be the first family vacation in Fort Myers without Theodore. Among the topics discussed in the communications from Florida are Thomas Edison's sleeping habits, his enjoyment of fishing ("the only time that Papa forgets [the] laboratory"), and his attitude toward house guests Bessie Kunz and Harriet Monkhouse. Also included are remarks about Mina's interest in learning how to drive the family's new Ford and possible visits to Seminole Lodge by Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Edison's chief engineer Miller Reese Hutchison (whom Mina disliked intensely).
In addition, there are comments about Thomas Edison's precarious financial situation, his concerns about his disc phonograph business, and Mina's hope that the Phonograph Sales Co., established by son-in-law John Eyre Sloane and his brother Charles, would be successful. In one letter Mina expresses the wish that her husband "could feel rich once in his life." There are numerous references to Glenmont, the family home in Llewellyn Park, including one letter in which Mina speculates as to whether the family should sell Glenmont and find a smaller home. Theodore's sister Madeleine, who stayed for several weeks at Glenmont after the birth of Thomas Edison Sloane on March 4, is mentioned in some of the letters, as is Theodore's older brother Charles, who was running the Edison company while his father was away. Other topics discussed in the correspondence include Theodore's education at Montclair Academy, Thomas Edison's support for the "Flexner idea of education," a dance sponsored by the Alva Club of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., and renovations in the Glenmont garage.
The last document is a postcard from June 1916 that Mina wrote on the train heading from Philadelphia to Akron, in which she expresses concern about Theodore's recurrent headaches and regret that the family home in Akron, "with its old associations and joys," was being vacated. Courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution Archives, Oliver Archives Center