Edison Relies on Crane, Again

On November 7, 1931, W. Murray Crane Jr. received the following letter from The Edison Institute of Technology in Dearborn, Michigan, again proving the quality and durability of Crane papers, as well as their continued role as the medium of innovation:

“Just 50 years ago, you sold to the Edison Machine Works on Goerk Street, New York City, some paper which they used for insulation between copper discs on what was known at that time as the “Jumbo” dynamo. There were only 23 of these dynamos made and as far as we can learn, there is only one left at the present time, and we have that one in Dearborn.

“The above machine was the first one to be started in the Old Pearl Street Station of New York City, which was the first central station in America for supplying incandescent electric lighting service on a commercial basis.

“We are planning to reproduce at least one section of the Old Pearl Street Station at Dearborn and in preparing to do this we found it necessary to tear down this old generator and reinsulate some of its parts, as in fifty years some of this insulation had become thoroughly dried out and quite brittle, and we considered it inadvisable to try to use it under those circumstances.

“In taking some of the round flat copper discs apart, which were on each end of the armature, we found that they were insulated from each other by some paper which was made by your company in 1881. We are pleased to enclose a sample of this paper, thinking it might be of interest to you, as you will notice that with the exception of the extreme outer edge, the paper appears to be in first-class condition.”


Mr. Crane wrote back, in part:

“You will be interested to know that we have equipped a portion of one of our mills about 100 years old as a museum…and assure you that the sheet which you have sent us will very shortly be added to our exhibits therein. We know, of course, that Mr. Ford is interested in similar ventures himself and we hope some time when he is motoring through, he will stop here and see our museum.”

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