The West Orange Laboratory Records Series comprises bound volumes, loose correspondence, and account books that deal mainly with administrative operations at the laboratory complex. Certain items, such as the Arthur E. Kennelly Letterbooks, also pertain to experimental projects. The material appears in the following order:
Notebooks. These books contain primarily notes, but also some drawings and draft correspondence, regarding orders of equipment to outfit the laboratory, administration of experimental projects, inventory and supplies, Edison's library, and labor records. Among the individuals whose work appears in these books are Charles Batchelor, John Ott, and Franz Schulze-Berge; much of the material, however, is by unidentified storekeepers and office personnel.
Pocket Notebooks. These books generally measure 3" or 4" in one direction by 6" or 7" in the other. They contain notes regarding the construction of the laboratory, the Llewellyn Park electrical system, technical books and journals, and labor records. Most of the material is by unidentified storekeepers and office personnel.
Other Bound Volumes. This set of books comprises scrapbooks, logbooks, and notebooks that do not have archival N- or PN-numbers. The books contain material regarding orders of equipment to outfit the laboratory, the administration of experimental projects, inventory and supplies, as well as information for phonograph cylinders, labor records, and other administrative items. Some of the material that pertains to the outfitting of the new laboratory is by Edison. Most of the material, however, is by unidentified storekeepers and office personnel.
Unbound Drawings. These architectural drawings by Joseph J. Taft are plans for the outbuildings at the laboratory complex. Included are elevations of the galvanometer and metallurgical buildings and the carpentry shop.
Letterbooks. These letterbooks are divided into two subseries: (1) West Orange Laboratory Letterbooks; and (2) Arthur E. Kennelly Letterbooks. The West Orange Laboratory books deal mainly with routine orders of equipment and supplies. Also included is material by William K. L. Dickson pertaining to the experimental development of the kinetoscope. The Kennelly Letterbooks contain material relating to the experimental work in the Galvanometer Room, as well as Kennelly's professional activities.
Accounts. These books contain records detailing experimental and operating costs, Edison's royalties and investments, and various other personal and business accounts. Included are ledgers and sub-ledgers, journals, abstracts of expenses, distribution of labor volumes, and invoice and cash books.
Equipment and Supplies [not selected]. This subseries contains unbound correspondence and other loose documents relating to the purchase of equipment and supplies for the West Orange laboratory. The items deal mainly with laboratory stock and other office supplies, but there is scattered material regarding scientific apparatus. Most of the documents are unsolicited promotional circulars and routine correspondence regarding the availability, cost, and delivery of various supplies. Also included are documents regarding supplies for the Edison Phonograph Works and the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works, companies for which the laboratory occasionally served as procurer.
A selection of related material for 1887-1889, covering the outfitting and start-up period at the laboratory, can be found in "West Orange Laboratory - Suppliers," Document File (D-87-56, D-88-56, and D-89-70). Items relating to the outfitting of the laboratory can also be found in the Vouchers and Attached Correspondence Series. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.