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I have never been able to find out who the parties were that employed this detective agency.If I may venture a guess,those interested in gas had something to do with it.It all shows the pitfalls that are laid for an inventor when paramount interests are at stake. It is thus no wonder that G.P.Lowrey counseled prudence in showing people round and at the same time took precautions without Edison's knowledge for the company's sake.Yes,Lowrey was ever on the watch,and as we approached the busy termination of work atMenlo Park,the Edison Electric Light Company knew perfectly well which men at the Park were loyal and which were not,even before Edison had any idea of it.It was one these gum-shoed gentleman whose report on Boehm caused the latter to leave Menlo Park with lightning rapidly.I remember one of this company's shadowers well;his name was Russell.He once got into a jam and was beaten so severely that he had to cover his whole back with a large porous plaster;his nickname after that was 'Porous-plaster Jim'.

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  • ddeana
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私は誰が、この探偵事務所を雇った当事者だったのかついぞ見つけ出すことはできなかった。あえて憶測を述べてもいいならば、ガスに興味をもつ人物たちが、それと関係があった。そのすべてが、最優先の利益が危機に瀕した時、発明家を待ち受ける複数の落とし穴があることを示している。 したがって、G.P.ラウリー(※1)が人々を案内して回ることに慎重になるようにと忠告すると同時に、会社の利益の為ならば、エジソンの知らぬ間に予防措置を取ることも何の不思議もないことだ。そう、ラウリーは常に監視していた。そして我々が、メンロパークでの仕事で、やることがたくさんある最終段階に近づいた時、エジソン電気会社は、エジソンがわかる前だというのに、メンロパークの誰が忠実で誰がそうでなかったか、完全に知っていた。このうちの一人はのちにアッと言う間にメンロパークを去ることになる、ベームに関する報告をしたこうした探偵の殿方だった。私はこの会社のシャドー(※2)の1人をよく覚えている。彼の名前はラッセルと言った。かつてピンチに陥りしこたま殴られたことがあるので、彼は背中全体に1枚の大きな気孔性(よじれないように小さな穴がたくさん開いている)の湿布薬を張らねばならなかった。その後の彼のニックネームは、「湿布薬ジム」になった。 ※1:G.P.Lowrey Grosvenor P. Lowreyは、弁護士でエジソンの資金調達や財政関係の要となったスタッフです。 ※:shadower 誰かを尾行して、行動を報告するために雇われた探偵。日本語だと「影」と訳されることもあるそうですが、特殊な用語なのであえてカタカナにしました。

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    Maxim didn't run to New York and give his opinion to a newspaper,but went to his laboratory and began trying to make a lamp after Edison's ideas.He had no success,however,and after a few weeks sent to Menlo Park an emissary who got in touch with Boehm.It was also said that the agent approached another of our men.The deportment of Boehm changed perceptibly and soon begame suspicious. Hw was changing his allegiance to that of Maxim.In fact,he soon departed Menlo Park and entered that electrician's employ.This as far I am aware was the only defection that ever occured at our laboratory in those early days.In a few months Boehm managed to place the Maxim laboratory incondition so that it was able to produce some incandescent lamps that had their light-giving element made of paper.While at Menlo Park Boehm had had the oppotunity of watching all the various processes by which Edison made a practical lamp,and that acquired knowledge he imparted to Maxim.With the compensation he received,he was enabled to return to Germany and study.After receiving the degree of Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in 1886,he returned to America.

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      Many things came to pass,and it was only Edison who could and had to ferret them out.It seemed that destiny hinted to him that he now had his system working on which he had labored some years,but it would have to pass through the infant period during which so many changes take place.   Edison was everywhere,for his occupations were multifarious;and all looked to him for advice when anything went wrong.The memorable day when the Pearl Street Central Station was started in regular operation happened to be September 4,1882.On that day John W.Lieb,the electrician of the station,was deputized by Edison to close the main switch,thereby permitting the current to flow into the underground conductors,and thus to start the regular operation of this novel enterprise.This act required that Lieb stand on his tiptoes,and finding that the catch of the switch didn't work properly,he had to hang on to its handle untill William D.MacQuesten,Lieb's assistant at the time,brought a bench and pushed the catch into the pawl that locked and held it.

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    Here I mention another visitor,well known at that time,who appeared at the laboratory one day.His name was Hiram S.Maxim.He had made an arc lamp and generator which he exploited and which was known as the Maxim arc light system. He,too as I already mentioned,dabbled about wity an incandescent lamp idea in 1878 and like others had no success.His lamp was of very low resistance and possessed many other defects-it was simply an abandoned experiment of no practical value. Maxim was very much interested in what Edison showed him and the two spent almost a day together.Edison explained to him how the paper filaments were made and carbonized and all about the glass-blowing part.In fact,Maxim spent nearly two hours with Edison in the glass house where Boehm,Holzer and Hipple were working.He,too,like the 'celebrated electrician of Cleveland' took leave with the most touching cordiality.

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    I have given all these details in order to show what privileges and protection an inventor enjoys when,like Edison,he conducts organized research for a strong company.He has everything at his disposal and can devote himself,without worry, his work.If he is successful,he gets his liberal share and has no expence.Edison had stuck to the stocks received from the Edison companies for his work he would, no doubt,have been the largest sharer in electric lighting interests in the country. But Edison wasn't after money solely.No! He considered it a means of exchange and in that spirit turned it into new activities,new endeavors and new lines of experiment.It was important that he should do so:otherwise history might have had a different course.He didn't wait in leisurely luxury until his electric light shares should grow fat with returns,but from the start took all the money he could raise to his place his great achievements upon a solid commercial foundation under his personal supervision.That was necessary considering the epoch.With him it was push,push,and push again,and with the help of loyal servants the gigantic results of his Menlo Park labors were soon safely set on a manufacturing foundation;in a few years they were fortitled to an impregnable strength.Then the time arrived for others to carry his work of expansion further-this,however,only after a decennium,In 1892 the General Electric Company took up his program of expansion and has been developing it ever since.

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    You have already heard how from time to time he himself stupid each operation in the making of his lamp,and how thoroughly he worked out the process of carbonization.First he formed his filament from the raw material and then he carbonized them.Those that worked on the problem before Edison,took carbon already made from which to shape their light-giving elements.Some had their carbons made by Carre of Paris,an electric arc light carbon manufacturer;and these were in the shape of rods. Thus we see distinctive methods of operation,with Edison following a different course from all the others in procuring and making his carbon filament. When at last he had concluded his investigations into carbon-making and began to make lamps in quantities,he assigned Lawson,Van Cleve and others to the job, instructing them in all the details.From that time forth it was more of a routine process than an experimental one.Likewise the newcomers whom the new-found light and dynamo lured to Menlo Park,Clarke,Howell,Hammer,Acheson,Holzer and others,were assigned places in this new activity.And each of the so-colled 'departments'was given its own routine.

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      Nevertheless,disregarding the 'worry hunters'' the Pearl Strret Central Station was started on September 4,1882,and the Edison system and underground conductors service for decades.  Another somewhat similar incident of a different character happened at the corner of Nassau and Ann streets.As is known,Edison placed cast-iron junction boxes at the intersection of the streets,in connection with his underground conductors.Late one night when he was still at the station,a policeman came running in and in an excited voice said that the iron box at the above-mentioned corner had exploded.Edison and one of the 'boys' went there to see what had happened.He found that the cover on the manhole,which weighed about a couple of hundred pounds,had vanished,but everything inside the manhole was in good order.Edison concluded that gas from a gas main might have got into the manhole, or it might have been the acid used in picking the casting that gave off hydrogen that mixed with the air leaking in to make the explosive mixture.   The incident worried him;there were many such manhole boxes in the system,and if one should explode in a crowded street and life a few oersons into the air the company might be compelled to pay damages.Edison got his thinker in action and soon solved the problem.He placed a little bottle of chloroform with a small hole in the cork each box.The chroloform evaporated and, being heavy,settled in the box,displacing the air that may have got in.Edison said afterward that he had never heard of an explotion in a box that had a bottle of chloroform in it.

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