Notebook Series -- Pocket Notebooks :: PN-19-05-17 (1919)
The dated entries in this pocket notebook are from May-September 1919. The book was used by Edison to record ideas about business matters, experiments to be tried, and other tasks to be performed. Some of the items have been crossed out. Many of the experimental entries relate to storage batteries, including notes on a self-starter battery for the Ford automobile and numerous chemical experiments. Also included are notes pertaining to the electromotograph (EMG) and chalk telephone, Lalande primary batteries, audions, disc records, and chemical paper. In addition, there are remarks on "a new cylinder process" and other entries that indicate Edison's continuing interest in improving the quality of his Blue Amberol cylinder records. Some entries are of a more speculative nature, such as an idea "for larger movie" involving four projectors focused on one large screen.
Among the business-related entries are detailed evaluations of several musicians who responded to Edison's advertisement for a pianist, including comments about their physical characteristics, ethnicity, and religion. There are also notes on plans to sell Edison Portland cement in South America, production estimates for disc phonograph cabinets, lists of inventions to be patented, and descriptions of properties near the Pennsylvania Railroad that might be suitable locations for a factory. Some entries refer to legal matters such as Edison's contracts for lithium property and a lawsuit involving John Ambrose Fleming's vacuum-tube thermionic valve. A draft telegram to industrialist Harvey Firestone discusses the upcoming camping trip in which Henry Ford and John Burroughs also participated. Some of the entries may have been made during the trip. Among the Edison employees mentioned in the book are Charles T. Dally, William Walter Dinwiddie, Elmer E. Dougherty (the "works Chemist" hired in August 1919), Charles Edison, Stephen B. Mambert, John V. Miller, William J. O'Dair, Ludwig F. (Louis) Ott, and Gan C. Yee (whom Edison called "Chinaman"). The pages are unnumbered. Approximately 150 pages have been used.