Lot 40: Thomas A. Edison Autograph Letter Ordering Zinc Dust for Production of Benzidine

Lion Heart Autographs

October 26, 2016
New York, NY, US

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Description: Thomas A. Edison Orders Zinc Dust for Production of Benzidine********** EDISON, THOMAS A. (1847-1931). American scientist; inventor of sound recording, electrical illumination, motion pictures, and other epoch-making developments. AL unsigned. 1p. 8vo. N.p. [West Orange, 1916]. To his associate Peter C. Christensen. ********** “Christensen Have [James T.] Phelan send me up by Ed 25 lbs of fine zinc dust used for Benzidine” **********At the bottom of the lined sheet another hand has written: “3/29/51 Memo. The preceding memorandum is in the handwriting of Thomas A. Edison, written late 1916 when I was working as a chemist with him in his laboratory at West Orange, New Jersey. Richard G. Berger. 1928 North Ave., Bridgeport, Conn.” **********Written vertically in the upper right corner in an unidentified hand is an abbreviation for a chemical compound: “Zn(NaO2)” **********On the verso in another hand is written: “2NaOH+Zn=Zn(NaO)2+H2” ********** Edison, who held 1,093 patents at the time of his death, is credited with ushering in the age of electricity. Backed by financiers J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, he developed operable electric lighting as well as alkaline batteries to power another of his inventions, the phonograph. Additionally, he spent much time attempting to link his phonograph to moving pictures, and invented a camera and viewing machine that made silent movies commercially successful. ********** In 1905, Edison established the Edison Chemical Works, to manufacture compounds necessary for production of his batteries. He opened several additional chemical plants including the Benzidine Plant in Silver Lake around November 1916. However, that plant never manufactured benzidine, which is used in the production of dyes, as a rubber-compounding agent and in manufacturing plastic films. ********** Folded with some overall wear and in very good condition.
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