Item - BSL - Edison 1898

Price $25,000



Thomas Edison Autograph Letter Signed - ALS

"Science in the Coming Years will Rule the World of Business"



Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

A Fabulous Prognostication of Uncanny Accuracy. Thomas Edison, America's International Icon of Ingenuity, Perseverance, Perspicacity and Success, writes to Support the formation of a "Scientific Society". The Trappings of the Communiqué are 19th Century High Tech. The Missive is written "From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison", it includes his "Cable Address" and has a red stamp indicating that it was a "Phonograph Dictation". Here is Edison at his cutting edge best exhorting others on with his belief that, "Science in the coming Years will Rule the World of Business". Edison firmly believed in Hard Work and Science and understood that business would one day demand the invention of computers, video conferencing, the NASDAQ, online trading, cell phones, cable networks and the Rise of the Machine - ushering in the AGE OF TECHNOLOGY!!


Biographical Note on Thomas Edison

Over the desk at his Laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison kept the quotation: “Success is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. He never lost sight of the fact that thought must be married to action in order to produce results. The “result” was one of America’s most prolific inventors, a man who produced a phenomenal outpouring of scientific patents, business acumen, productivity and ground breaking innovation. From the Stock Market ticker, which mobilized the efficiency of American Stock Markets, to his favorite invention, the phonograph; from the incandescent light to the motion picture camera, Edison remains an icon of the American Dream.  Modern life would be unrecognizable without him.

Edison was a man of business. After inventing an Electric Vote Counter (again way ahead of his time!) which did not sell, he created a business invention - the stock ticker, which he developed in 1870. He sold it to a Wall Street firm for $40,000,
a fortune at the time. He then invented the electric light and commercialized the era of electricity. By the time he wrote this letter, numerous generators were in place around the country and many businesses were already wired. Edison also invented a mimeograph machine, giving businesses the first break from the necessity of having all copies made by hand. By 1898 Bell had invented the telephone and Thomas Oliver the first practical typewriter; both were coming into common use by business. Those were the big business-oriented advances Edison knew of on March 24, 1898. The automobile was not yet available to the public and aviation was still considered a pipe dream. Radio and television, such crucial advertising mediums, were a few decades away. Basic business machines such as Dictaphones, electric typewriters and copiers were between a quarter and a half century off.  But Edison anticipated this too by utilizing “phonographic dictation” in this letter.

Handwritten 1 page Letter – Signed and Dated: March 24, 1898
Text as Follows:

Cable Address                                      From the Laboratory
“Edison, New York”                                    of
                                                              Thomas A. Edison

                                                      Orange, N.J. M[ar]ch 24th 1898
Charles Haase Esq.  Secy.
Elmira Free Academy
Elmira, N.Y.

Dear Sir:

I am pleased to learn that you have formed a scientific society. 
Science in the coming years will rule the world of business.
                                                                    Thomas A Edison [signature]

Thomas Edison was the architect of Modern America. His 1,093 inventions were impressive, even more was his dedication to finding practical applications and improvements for his ideas. He firmly believed that Science had a duty to further the Enlightenment and Progress of Humanity. This letter is a fantastic example of his earnest desire to foster Scientific Knowledge and Scientific Societies as he firmly believed that Science was the key to the future. As a successful businessman he understood that advancing technologies were the lynchpin to a dominant economy; innovation drove efficiency, efficiency drove business.

Instant communications via fax and cell phone were in the distant future. The invention that has revolutionized business and makes Edison's prediction absolutely true, the modern computer, was 50 years away from its birth and 80 years away from its widespread use in business. The Internet was nearly beyond imagining.  Edison predicted that science would "rule the world of business” not merely impact it. The crucial inventions that would mark the 20th century were unknown to him when he made the prediction. As the 21st Century dawns, we can see that he was right. I'm sure he and Andy Grove or Gordon Moore would have quite a conversation about our new century.

Document Specifications:
Very Fine Document on Batonne Laid Paper written and signed by "Thomas Edison" and dated "Orange, N.J. March 24th 1898". Document measures approximately 8 1/4w x 5 1/2h inches (21 x 14 centimeters). Manuscript is 1 page and notes on first page in Red Type that it is a "PHONOGRAPH DICTATION", it has a printed letterhead that notes: "Cable Address 'Edison, New York.'" and "From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison". Addressed to Charles Haase Esq. Secretary of the Elmira Free Academy. Two vertical original file folds, very slightly stained, and a small hole upper left, none affecting signature.

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.

Official PayPal Seal     Item includes a written, signed & sealed lifetime guarantee of authenticity and is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be archivally packaged & shipped to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a 14 day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While domestic shipping is free, certain international shipments may require buyer to be accountable for additional postage, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's. Washington State residents will be charged the 6.5% sales tax.  

End of Item - BSL - Edison 1898

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