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    Thomas Edison Autograph Letter Signed "Edison." One page on New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works, 8" x 10", Orange, New Jersey; undated. A letter, probably to Frank L. Perry, concerning the "Low Speaking Telephone." Reads in full:


    See "Low Speaking Telephone" in Prescotts work on Elec & other works of telephony. The apparatus is not only useful for telephones but for other things it has no "self induction"and would record alternating waves absolutely true up to 100 000 per second


    In the letter offered here Edison refers to the works of George B. Prescott (1830-1894), an American electrical engineer who wrote several books about the history of electricity, including Electricity and the Electric Telegraph (New York, 1877) and The Speaking Telephone, Talking Phonograph and Other Novelties (New York, 1879), in which he mentions of the "Low Speaking Telephone." After the invention of the telephone, Edison was in competition with Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), and he was looking to produce a telephone receiver that would rival Bell's. It is likely that this letter dates from as early as December 1888, when the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works was established. In 1879, Edison invented a new telephone receiver, with a carbon-button transmitter and an electromotograph receiver that would be dubbed "The Edison Loud Speaking Telephone."
    Frank L. Perry was for many years a journalist for the Western Electrician, a periodical devoted to the latest news in the field of electrical engineering. He also managed the Baltimore Sun for a while before returning to Chicago, where he continued his journalistic activities.

    The New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works was established by Edison in 1888. Among Edison's varied and extensive interests was an ore-milling process that would extract various metals from ore. In 1881, he formed the Edison Ore-Milling Co., but the venture failed, as there was no market for it. In 1887, he returned to the project, thinking that his process could help the mostly depleted Eastern mines compete with the Western ones. Thus in December 1888, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works was formed to engage in large-scale magnetic separation of iron ore in New Jersey. Edison became so immersed in its operations that he began to spend much time away from home at the mines in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. Although he invested much money and time into this project, it proved unsuccessful when the market went down and additional sources of ore in the Midwest were found. Edison's New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works closed in 1900

    Condition: Light toning at top and bottom margins, usual mail folds. Light soiling at corners, and mounting remnants on verso, else fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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