Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    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:

    F.L.P.

    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

    Yours
    Edison

    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.


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 214

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 October 25 Manuscripts - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $615,551