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11 Jul, 2014 23:45:15 BST
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US $22,500.00
Approximately £13,542.39(including postage)
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Famous Inventors & Scientists:

Thomas Alva Edison



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, smart phones, cable networks and the Rise of the Machine - ushering in the AGE OF TECHNOLOGY!!


  Brief 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 America’s most prolific inventor, 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 Bill Gates would have quite a conversation about our new century.

I did want to make a few more comments about this truly historic Thomas Edison letter. I find it fascinating that Edison was here using what today would be the modern blackberry device. He was transmitting a quick message from his own Laboratory which included his Cable Address (today's email address), as well as the wonderful notation "phonograph dictation" which essentially was his version of an archetypal word processing program. Several things stand out to me. One: is that this document reflects the very cutting edge business technology available at the time - largely through Edison's personal efforts. Two: is that Edison was genius enough to understand that what he was implementing in the world of business communications was not just a fad, but the first wave in a tidal movement of technology that would transform the face of not only business, but the world. One hundred years later, it is plausible to suggest that technology indeed has come to rule the world of business (witness the explosive growth of technology and internet companies which dominate the markets). It is indeed an electronic world that was largely made possible by the fact that Edison was the first to commercially harness electrical energy and "wire" the country. Add to that his contributions in stock market tickers, phonograph, incandescent light, cinematography, etc, etc., and it is clear that he is the Father of Modern Technology and here is his own prophetic observation. A last point, and perhaps the most telling, is the fact that despite his enormously busy schedule and the demands upon this time, he took the time to write a small school in upstate New York and encourage them to pursue their "scientific society". What this letter demonstrates, in one document, is not only: the realization of technology as a dominant force in business, Edison's ultimate confidence that what he was working on would have an impact centuries into the future, but that it would also be critical - and this points to his social genius as well - that a strong foundation be laid in scientific thought, education, motivation and inspiration. I believe that this letter represents all of this

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.

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