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Alvin D Caskey

Alvin D. Caskey worked under Thomas Edison in the West Orange laboratory during the years 1902 through 1911. His granddaughter, Virginia Helfrich, has contributed the following images:

Handwritten letter from Edison
handwritten letter from Edison

This letter, from Thomas Edison to his secretary John Randolph, is dated March 19, 1906. After asking for 3 new notebooks, he gives directions to be passed on to John Ott, his superintendent of experimenters. The letter shows the level of detail Edison focused on in directing his lab staff. Alvin Caskey is waiting for parts he needs to continue the work Edison specified, and Edison, in this letter, is concerned about the delay.

Directions from TAE to Caskey

Directions from TAE to Caskey

Directions from TAE to Caskey

Directions from TAE to Caskey

These handwritten notes are from Thomas Edison to Alvin Caskey. Each note gives precise instructions for the experimenter to follow. Notice the heading on several of the notes: "2 Casky". The last note mentions a GHH Jr, meaning George H Hooper, Jr.

John Ott, Caskey and Hooper worked on an electric battery in early 1906.

Note from Randolph about wedding gift

This note, from John Randolph (TAE's secretary) to Alvin Caskey, was accompanied by a $25 check for "wedding expenses". According to Paul Israel's book, "Edison - A Life of Invention", Randolph "had become Edison's secretary in 1893 after having worked for him as a clerk and bookkeeper since 1878". (page 356)

"Another longtime Edison employee, his private secretary and one of the old Menlo Park boys, John Randolph, driven by the stress of juggling Edison's financial and other business affairs, committed suicide... in 1908." (page 422)

Envelope addressed to Caskey

Letter from TAE


Last updated 5/15/2001.

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