Notebook Series -- Pocket Notebooks -- Miscellaneous :: PN-84-02-25 (1884)
This unpaginated pocket notebook was used by Edison primarily during his trip to Florida in February-March 1884. At the beginning of the book a brief note, probably written before he left New York, about a letter from George S. Yingling of Tiffin, Ohio, regarding the need for a branding iron that would not hurt cattle. Another short note, written a few pages later, states: "Write Holzer to make some filaments of Bamboo with the outer silica surfaces left on." Most of the Florida entries were probably made after Edison's arrival in St. Augustine on March 5 or 6; the exceptions are three entries written during February 25-28 while he was traveling by boat between Magnolia, Palatka, and Sanford. The earliest dated entries consist of circuit diagrams for multiple telegraphy. Other, undated, drawings relate to Edison's 1878 design of a way-duplex that would allow telegraph signals to be sent simultaneously between intermediate offices as well as over the main line. Numerous other entries pertain to Edison's ongoing lamp research, including methods for coating filaments and producing artificial filament fibers from organic materials. Some of Edison's filament notes became the basis for experimental instructions he sent to John F. Ott during the trip and for experiments conducted at the lamp factory and the New York laboratory after his return.
Edison's interest in artificial materials led him to write a relatively lengthy entry concerning the use of bran as a "Base Material for all uses." His notes on that topic appear to have been spurred by the work of John Stevens of Neenah, Wisconsin, whose non-cutting roller mill produced a significant improvement in the wheat milling process. Also included are three entries dealing with Edison's ongoing efforts to produce electricity directly from coal. Near the end of the book is a note mentioning a "marvellous fruit fibre," about which Edison intended to write William Denton of Fort Yuma, California. In addition, there are miscellaneous rough notes and calculations pertaining to costs for a central station, the electric current required for separating iron ore, and telegraphy. There is also a memorandum regarding expenses incurred by the Edison family during their Florida vacation. The cover of the book is missing, and the pages are unnumbered. Approximately 50 pages have been used. Several pages have been torn out of the book.