THOMAS A. EDISON PAPERS: A SELECTIVE MICROFILM EDITION
Thomas E. Jeffrey
Microfilm Editor and Associate Editor
|Paul B. Israel||Susan Schultz|
|Toby Appel||Keith A. Nier|
W. Bernard Carlson
|Leonard DeGraaf||Joseph P. Sullivan|
|David Fowler||Barbara B. Tomblin|
Leonard S. Reich
Associate Director and Associate Editor
Reese V. Jenkins
Director and Editor
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site
New Jersey Historical Commission
University Publications of America
One of the principal underpinnings of any major editing and publication project is the financial support that makes it possible. From an early point in the project's history a number of key people and organizations played critical roles in providing a financial foundation. President Edward Bloustein of Rutgers University strongly supported the project both within and outside the University. William C. Hittinger, vice president for research at RCA Corporation, became the chairman of the Edison Corporate Associates and recruited a distinguished group of corporation executives to aid in private fund-raising for the project. This group included: Morris Tanenbaum, president of AT&T Communications; the late Arthur M. Bueche, vice president for research and development at the General Electric Company; Cees Bruynes, president of North American Philips Corporation; Paul Lego, executive vice president of Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Robert I. Smith, chairman of Public Service Electric and Gas Company; Paul J. Christiansen, president of the Charles Edison Fund; Roland W Schmitt, senior vice president for corporate research and development at the General Electric Company; Philip F. Dietz, vice president and general manager of the Westinghouse Electric Company; and Harold W. Sonn, chairman of Public Service Electric and Gas Company. These people along with their associates such as John Venable of the Charles Edison Fund, Robert T:Cavanagh of North American Phil ips Corporation, Samuel Convissor of RCA Corporation, Edmund Tucker of the General Electric Foundation, and George Wise of the General Electric Company have given unstintingly of their time in behalf of the Edison Papers. Initially, Robert Lusardi and Michael Luck of the Rutgers University Foundation staff developed and organized the private fund-raising campaign. Foundation staff, notably Bruce Newman, Ron Miller, and Rose Cofone, worked closely with the Edison Corporate Associates in the later phase of the effort.
Early private support for the project came from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and The Hyde and Watson Foundation. Also vitally important to the Edison Papers was strong financial support from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ronald Overmann, program director for the history and philosophy of science, provided valuable counsel regarding proposals to the National Science Foundation, and Katherine Fuller and George Farr did likewise at the National Endowment for the Humanities. The official endorsement of the project by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission was also most helpful.
Many people with the National Park Service have assisted the Edison Papers project in a variety of capacities. Especially notable in support of the project were administrative and curatorial officers: William Binnewies, Lynn Wightman, Ray Kremer, Roy W. Weaver, Elizabeth Albro, Arthur Reed Abel, and Edward Pershey. Others who have aided the project include Leah Burt, Mary Bowling, John Spinnler, Marilyn Kyles, Marjorie Taliaferro, Karen Giacobbe, Shirley Rugg, Karen Sloat-Olsen, Frank McGrane, Robert Zimmerman, Clarence Askew, and Al Strand.
From the beginning, the editorial and administrative center for the Edison Papers has been at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The strong support and responsiveness of many Rutgers people truly have made the campus a home for the project. Among these were Paul G. Pearson and T. Alexander Pond, both of whom have held the office of executive vice president; James Kirby Martin and Nathaniel J. Pallone, academic vice presidents; Kenneth Wheeler, provost; and John Salapatas, associate provost. Jean Parrish, associate provost, has taken a special responsibility and interest in this project and has given its staff timely encouragement and support.
A project of the scope of the Edison Papers can function in a major university setting only with the enthusiastic interest of many people. Notable administrative assistance has come from David A. Cayer, Albert Hanna, David A. Rumbo, Donna Estler, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell, Evelyn H. Wilson, Robert F. Pack, Jose A. Steinboch, Ruth L. Scott, Barbara Dawson, Ronnie F. Liebowitz, David R. Scott, Joseph Harrigan, and Gail B. Heseltine. Many colleagues in the Department of History have made special efforts on behalf of the Edison Papers. The project is especially indebted to Tilden G. Edelstein, Gerald N. Grob, John R. Gillis, James W. Reed, Susan R. Schrepfer, Jonathan Lurie, and Herbert H. Rowen. Unusually strong interest and initiative in support of the Edison Papers have come from associates in the Rutgers University Libraries, especially Hendrik Edelman, Ruth J. Simmons, Francis A. Johns, Donald A. Sinclair, Ronald L. Becker, Clark L. Beck, Jr., and Maxine Lurie.
During the preparation of Part I of the microfilm edition a number of interns and students from Rutgers and from across the United States and Canada have provided assistance. Those not named on the title page include Thomas Cornell, Sara Jane Schechner, John Rumm, Michela Mago, Richard Myers, Jane Morley, David Rhees, Andrew Butrica, Anne Jordan, Mark Jones, Joel Demnitz, Joyce Bedi, Matthew McCright, Alain Canuel, and Dana Norvila. In its search for Edison documents, the project also benefitted from the counsel and assistance of Harry Goldsmith, a retired patent attorney and former examiner for the U.S. Patent Office.
The Edison Papers project has also depended upon people throughout the country for advice, information, and many special favors. Among those who have performed numerous services for the project are Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Edwin T. Layton, Jr., Robert Friedel, Howard Green, Israel Rubin, Jeffrey Sturchio, Neil Wasserman, Daniel Kevles, Don C. Skemer, Charles F. Cummings, Joel Buchwald, William C. Wright, Joan Richardson, Theodore Edison, and John Edison Sloane.
During the summer of 1984 University Publications of America undertook the filming of Part I of the microfilm edition at the ENHS. UPA President John Moscato and his associates, including Robert Lester, Risa Jewell, and Cynthia Hancock, conducted this critical phase of publication in an unusually thorough and conscientious manner.
This brief account of the history of the Edison
Papers and of the project's indebtedness to many people and organizations
closes with a very special expression of appreciation to a small group
of people whose contributions, dedication, and good humor have truly made
this project possible. This group includes the project's administrative
assistant, Helen Endick; its first secretary, Kathryn Lipscomb Woods; its
secretary of five years, Ann Nigro; and its secretary who recently joined
the project, Grace Kurkowski.