THOMAS A. EDISON - CORPORATE MINUTES SIGNED 02/04/1919 CO-SIGNED BY: GOVERNOR CHARLES EDISON, STEPHEN B. MAMBERT, HARRY F. MILLER, WILLIAM H. MAXWELL, J. W. ROBINSON - HFSID 102346
Sale Price $1,530.00
THOMAS A. EDISON, CHARLES EDISON, HARRY F. MILLER, STEPHEN B. MAMBERT and OTHERS. Typed DS: "Charles Edison" as Chairman of the Board, "Thos A Edison", "Stephen B. Mambert", "C.H.W[illegible]", and "H.F. Miller" as Directors and "J W. Robinson" as Secretary of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. on second page, 1¼p, 8x11, separate sheets. West Orange, New Jersey, 1919 February 4. Pages 189-190 of a Corporate Minutes book. Headed: "MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF THOMAS A. EDISON, INC." A meeting to declare a dividend on net sales of the "Musical Phonograph".Also signed: "W. Maxwell" as Vice President and Manager and "Stephen B. Mambert" as Vice President and Financial Executive on first page. In part: "Mr. Maxwell requested the authority of the Board of Directors to declare a dividend equivalent to 7% of the Net Sales for the months of June, July, and August, 1918, on behalf of the Musical Phonograph Business...Mr. Stephen M. Mambert, Vice President and Financial Executive, having signified his approval of Mr. Maxwell's proposal, on motion regularly made, seconded, and by the unanimous affirmative vote, the following resolution was adopted: RESOLVED, that a dividend of $185,905.37, being the equivalent of 7% of the Net Sales of the Musical Phonograph Business for the months of June, July and August 1918, be and hereby is declared...." Thomas A. Edison, Inc. had been incorporated in 1911 as an "umbrella" organization for Edison's many companies.In 1926, inventor THOMAS A. EDISON would step down as President of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. to become Chairman of the Board. His second son, CHARLES EDISON, who had served as Chairman of the Board for a number of Edison companies, took over the presidency. Charles would later serve as FDR's Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New Jersey. The invention of the phonograph is attributed to Edison in 1877. Although Edison would later say the phonograph was one of his favorite inventions, he paid little attention to it for ten years, but then organized the Edison Phonograph Company (1887) and The Edison Phonograph Works (1888). In the decade of 1910-1920, the phonograph became a mass medium for popular music, and many companies, including Edison's, worked on improving the quality of the recording, making recordings on discs rather than the wax cylinders that Edison had first used (Edison had grudgingly began manufacturing disc records in 1912 after finally realizing that was what the public wanted). Edison also became involved in the aesthetics of his machine, purchasing the Wisconsin Cabinet and Panel Company to produce wooden cabinets for his phonograph in 1917. However, the presence of radio in the mid-1920s (which provided free music), combined with the economic depression, caused phonograph sales to decline, despite the increase in sales mentioned in this document.In the fall of 1920, less than two years after his company was able to offer a dividend, Edison, in the wake of the post-war economic downturn, initiated an "economy campaign" that led to the dismissal or resignation of several top managers and a drastic reduction in his manufacturing labor force. Edison then essentially disbanded his phonograph business, consolidating it into Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1924. HARRY F. MILLER (1860-1950) began his association with the Edison laboratory in 1888, becoming Edison's private secretary (1908-1910). He was also assistant treasurer for the Edison Phonograph Works, the National Phonograph Company, the Edison Manufacturing Company and the Bates Manufacturing Company and became Treasurer of Thomas A Edison Inc. in 1916, serving until his retirement in 1937. STEPHEN B. MAMBERT, who had been named efficiency engineer of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1915, served as a financial executive for Edison. Lightly creased. Slightly rippled at blank left margin, where a strip of paper was originally affixed (some remnants remain). Chipped at upper blank edge. Stray ink mark at lower margin on verso, which is slightly soiled. Overall, fine condition.
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