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Lot # 1453 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1914 Thomas Edison Signed Letter - Laboratory Fire Content!

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $822.50

One-page typed letter, dated December 12, 1914, signed by Thomas Edison (1847-1931), American inventor. On the evening of December 9, 1914, Edison's famous laboratory, located in West Orange, New Jersey, was the scene of a spectacular fire and completely burned down. Legend has it that the fire was so extraordinary that, upon seeing and understanding the scope of the disaster, Edison sent word to friends and family to "Get down here quick....you may never have another chance to see anything like this again!" Within hours after the fire had been extinguished, Edison began a complete rehabilitation of the plant. Early the next morning hundreds of workers began working around the clock, clearing the debris to get the plant back to working order until a larger and more efficient facility than the original had been completed. With the help of Henry Ford, a new laboratory was built in Menlo Park, California, but the 1914 West Orange laboratory fire will always be one of the key defining events in the great inventor's career. This letter, written to a Mr. Warren Travell, is in response to Travell’s letter, dated December 10, 1914, a carbon copy of which accompanies. In his initial letter Travell writes to Edison and offers his assistance in helping to rebuild his plant. Edison’s response, written upon his company letterhead (“From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison”), reads in full: Dear Sir: I am in receipt of your very kind note of the 10th inst., and assure you that your sympathy and good wishes are greatly appreciated. Let me say for your information that the concrete buildings don’t appear to have suffered much and I think we can pull through with the assistance we already have. Yours very truly, Thomas A. Edison [signed]. Edison’s signature has been scripted in black fountain pen and grades “8/9.” This is an extraordinary letter, written just days after the great fire, and specifically relates to the event. Edison, dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” is one of the most important figures in American history. As the holder of over 1,000 patents, he helped usher in the modern age by introducing, among other things, the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and motion pictures. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays vertical and horizontal mailing folds (one of which transverses the signature) as well as a few small edge tears. A staple hole appears in the upper left corner. In Very Good to Excellent condition. The copy of Travell’s original letter is in similar condition. Included with the Edison letter is its original mailing envelope (6.5 x 3.5 inches, Vg), which bears a few later-day pencil notations on the front. LOAs from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $822.50


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