Compilation © 2007 LexisNexis Academic & Library Solutions, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Thomas E. Jeffrey Senior Editor

Brian C. Shipley Theresa M. Collins Linda E. Endersby Editors

David A. Ranzan Indexing Editor

Janette Pardo Richard Mizelle Peter Mikulas Indexers

Paul B. Israel Director and General Editor


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site New Jersey Historical Commission Smithsonian Institution

A UPA Collection from

tfl)' LexisNexis-

7500 Old Georgetown Road Bethesda, MD 20814-6126 Edison signature used with permission of McGraw-Gdison Company

Thomas A. Edison Papers

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey endorsed by

National Historical Publications and Records Commission 18 June 1981

Copyright © 2007 by Rutgers, The State University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication including any portion of the guide and index or of the microfilm may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means graphic, electronic, mechanical, or chemical, including photocopying, recording or taping, or information storage and retrieval systems— without written permission of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The original documents in this edition arc from the archives at the Edison National Historic Site at West Orange, New Jersey.

ISBN 978-0-88692-887-2


Director and General Editor Paul Israel

Senior Editor Thomas Jeffrey

Associate Editors Louis Carlat Theresa Collins

Assistant Editor David Hochfelder

Indexing Editor David Ranzan

Consulting Editor Linda Endcrsby

Visiting Editor Amy Flanders

Editorial Assistants Alexandra Rimer Kelly Enright Eric Barry

Outreach and Development (Edison Across the Curriculum)

Theresa Collins

Business Manager Rachel Wcissenburgcr


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey National Park Service

Richard L. McCormick Maryanne Gerbauckas

Ziva Oalili Michelle Ortwcin

Ann Fabian . .

Paul Clemens Smithsonian Institution

Harold Wallace

New Jersey Historical Commission Marc Mappen


Robert Friedel, University of Maryland Louis Galambos, Johns Hopkins University Susan Hockey, Oxford University Thomas P. Hughes, University of Pennsylvania Ronald Kline, Cornell University Robert Rosenberg, John Wiley & Sons Marc Rothenberg, Joseph Henry Papers, Smithsonian Institution Philip Scranton, Rutgers University/Hagley Museum Merritt Roe Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


We thankfully acknowledge the vision and support of Rutgers University and the Thomas A. Edison Papers Board of Sponsors.

This edition was made possible by grant funds provided from the New Jersey Historical Commission, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Major underwriting has been provided by the Barkley Fund, through the National Trust for the Humanities, and by The Charles Edison Foundation.

We are grateful for the generous support of the IEEE Foundation, the Hyde & Watson Foundation, the Martinson Family Foundation, and the OE Foundation. We acknowledge gifts from many other individuals, as well as an anonymous donor; the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies; and the Edison Electric Institute. For the assistance of all these organizations and individuals, as well as for the indispensable aid of archivists, librarians, scholars, and collectors, the editors arc most grateful.

A Note on the Sources The pages which have been filmed are the best copies available. Every technical effort possible has been made to ensure legibility.


Reel duplication of the whole or of any part of this film is prohibited. In lieu of transcripts, however, enlarged photocopies of selected items contained on these reels may be made in order to facilitate research.


Naval Consulting Board and Related Wartime Research Papers

Chemical Production Records

Special Collections Series

Naval Consulting Board and Related Wartime Research Papers

These papers deal with two aspects of Edison's work during i World War I: his role as chairman (later president) of the Naval Consulting Board (NCB), beginning in 1 91 5; and his personal experimental workforce U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, which began early in 1917 and took up much of his time until the end of the war. Although these two functions were not formally retested, they often overlapped, and documents concerning both the NCB and Edison s personal research appear in this record group.

The NCB was created in July 1915 as the result of discussions between Edison and Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, with the advice of Miller Reese Hutchison, Edison’s chief engineer and personal representa ive. The Board's membership, confirmed at its first meeting in October 1 91 5, included two representatives from each of the eleven professional engineering societies as well as Edison and Hutchison. The NCB was organized into technical comm ttees on various subjects, with a view to industrial preparedness should the United States be drawn into the European war.

One of the Board’s initial responsibilities was to evaluate suggestions for inventions from the public, which quickly became a huge a"d.es^rlt|lftJiyn ^'t'e^ task The NCB operated in a purely advisory capacity until it was authorized by Congress in August 1916, after which it began to plan for its own research laboratory. Although frequently discussed, the laboratory was not bulk unt well after the war due to fundamental disagreements between Edison and the younger generation of researchers about how technological research shou d be conducted. Edison insisted that a large industrial workshop near New York City was required, while others believed that a facility for research in basic science, neargovernment and military headquarters in Washington, would be moreuseful. With the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, the Board s attention shifted to the more immediate problem of defense against German submarines.

Edison's role on the NCB had always been largely ceremonial with the administrative work carried out by first vice chairman William L- Saunders and secretary Thomas Robins. Beginning in 1917, however, Ed'son devoted ^most all of his time to a variety of research projects that he conducted both i pers y

and with the assistance of experimenters working at various locations in New Jersey on Long Island, and later at Key West. His results and expenses were reported to Secretary Daniels, but to Edison's disappointment the Navy dechned to take up any of his inventions and by October 1919 the government had stopped funding his military research.

The folders contain documents on three distinct subjects, in varying proportions according to the year: unsolicited letters from the general public; correspondence relating to the business of the NCB; and communications among Edison, his experimental staff, Naval officers, government officials, and private companies, relating to his personal research projects. The folders for 1919-1920 also contain correspondence with Capt. Lloyd N. Scott and others pertaining to Scott's official history, Naval Consulting Board of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1920).

Approximately 25 percent of the documents have been selected, including ail items pertaining directly to Edison. Routine documents sent to Edison as an official of the NCB have not been selected. Also unselected are the vast majority of war invention ideas submitted by the public, few of which received a substantive reply. More specific selection statements can be found in the editorial descriptions preceding each folder.

Material pertaining to the experiments discussed in these documents can also be found in the Notebook Series: (1) Notebooks by Edison, N-17-01-20 through N-1 8-07-1 8.2 and N-18-1 1-03; (2) Notebooks by Edison and Other Experimenters— Navy and Wartime Research Experiments; and (3) Notebooks by Experimenters Other Than Edison— Navy and Wartime Research Experiments. Correspondence and other documents similar to those in the Naval Consulting Board Papers can be found in the Edison General File for 1915-1919 in "Advice/ "Naval Consulting Board," "Naval Experiments,” "Radio," "Roosevelt, Franklin D," "World War I— Experimental Work," and other folders for these years. Additional correspondence between Edison and Daniels can be found in the Josephus Daniels Papers, Charles Hummel Collection, Thomas A. Edison Papers Digital Edition, XI 28C. A scrapbook of newspaper clippings (Cat. 44,452) relating to the NCB and the war generally can be found in the Scrapbook Series.

The documents appear on the microfilm in the following order:

Correspondence (1915)

Subjects (1915)

Range and Direction Finders Correspondence (1916)

Subjects (1916)

Form Letters Ship Equipment Correspondence (1917)

Subjects (1917)

Applications for Employment Breathing Apparatus Direction Finder Experiments

Ship Reports (Anthracite Tests)

Ship Sinkings

Underwater Sound Detection Reports Correspondence (1918)

Subjects (1918)

Daylight Illumination Experiments Experiments

Jones Point Experimental Laboratory (1918) Ships and Coal

Vickers Machine Gun and Ammunition Feeder Correspondence (1919)

Subjects (1919)

Experiments Correspondence (1920)

Correspondence (1921)

Correspondence (1922)

Correspondence (1930)

A Note on Arrangement

The archival record group at the Edison National Historic Site contains two series: a main run of general correspondence organized chronologically from 1915 through 1930 (boxes 1-20); and a smaller collection of subject folders (boxes 21- 24) containing additional correspondence along with test reports, experimental notes, printed material, and other documents. Although the names of the folders in the archival record group reflect the original subject headings created by Edison and his secretaries, these names are occasionally misleading and many of the items within the folders do not fall under the stated subject. In addition, documents about a particular subject are sometimes scattered among several subject folders and related material can often be found as well in the general correspondence folders.

For these reasons, many of the documents selected for publication from the subject folders have been arranged with the general correspondence. In other cases, where information would be lost by separating the selected and unselected material, the selected items have been retained in their subject folders. However, closely related documents found in multiple subject folders have been consolidated into one folder. In some cases, the folder titles have been modified slightly in the editorial arrangement in orderto differentiate between the vague and repetitive names originally given to them. In addition, subject folders for each year appear in the editorial arrangement immediately following the general correspondence for that year. It should be noted that there is still considerable overlap between the material in the subject and general correspondence folders, and both should be used in conjunction.

Numerous subject folders consisting entirely of documents unrelated to Edison have not been selected. A list of these folders appears below. In addition, several boxes in the archival record group have not been selected: boxes 25-27 (War Dept. Ordnance Bulletins and other printed material); box 28 (photocopies of correspondence owned by Charles Hummel; see Thomas A. Edison Papers Digital Edition, X128C); box 29 (photocopies of original documents filed elsewhere in the record group); and oversize material. A finding aid for the record group is available at the Edison National Historic Site.

Subject Folders Not Selected

Adapter Plugs

Correspondence Undated, unsigned .

Edison's War Work [typescript draft of Chap. 1 1 of the Scott volume]

Envelopes Gun Belts

Haines, G. B. Correspondence


Lab Site

Life Boats and Life Saving Apparatus

NCB Members and Rules

Naval Research Report by Comdr. S.C. McDowell

Opinions of the Members Towards the Future of the Board [minutes of 1919 meeting, 58 pp] . . , , t

Paul D. Payne— Correspondence with and about

"Proving Grounds, Mathematician, Sub Defense Association, and Sachem



Reports— Kennedy Rubber Belts

Sandy Hook and Environs Sound Apparatus Sperry Gyroscope Company Submarine Detectors

Warner, S. G— Correspondence with and about

Naval Consulting Board and Related Wartime Research Papers Correspondence (1915)

This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to Edison's role as chairman of the newly established Naval Consulting Board. The correspondents include Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Edison's chief engineer and personal representative Miller Reese Hutchison, and other members of the Board, particularly chemist Leo H. Baekeland and enqineer Willis R. Whitney. Included are items pertaining to the Board s establishment and early meetings, the appointment of its members from various technical societies, the formation of committees, and the resignat on of Henry A. W. Wood in December as a result of his disagreement with the defense policies of the Wilson Administration. There is also material regarding the proposed naval research laboratory, including Edison’s personal notes on its desired specifications and a 16-page memorandum by Whitney. Among the technical subjects discussed in the documents are the erosion of rifled barrels in heavy artillery, the development of a wire cutting projectile, and he absorption of hydrogen gas emissions in submarines. There are * a so numerous unsolicited letters from the general public about war-related inventions, a small number of which received substantive replies from Edison.

Approximately 30 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected items consist primarily of unsolicited letters relating jo the jar and ideas for weapons; standard replies from Edison s secretaries stating ‘hat any inventions submitted would be forwarded to Board secretary Thomas Robins, and routine correspondence between Robins and Edison's personal assistant William H. Meadowcroft, regarding the transmittal and receipt of such materials. Other unselected documents include routine administrative and organizational papers circulated to Board members and an essay on the proposed naval research laboratory by Reginald E. Gillmor.


July 7, 1915.

^ Yl oXt V wj-CCSa

(.vtwH u&tvCv

Hon. ThomaB A.Edison,

East Orange, N.J.

Dear f^disoiu intending fQr some time to write you ex¬ tras sinp mv admiration at the splendid and patriotic Ittitudl you h£ve tiken, as reported in the public press, in refusing to devote your great inventive genius to warlike subjects except at the call of your own country.

Such an attitude, in these all too commercial times, is one that should be an inspiration to our young men and a __n in the ■oreeminent right of onefs own country to the heat that Its citizens have that will he tremendous

asss ess *»™ stss

arsrass.’“ ss*s SsFi&svs ssst dkse s

natural inventive genius of Americans to meet ^enew conditions of warfare as Bhown abroad, and it is my i n+ention if a practical way can be worked out, asi think it can be, to establish.at the earliest moment a department of invention and development, to which all


sent them for the careful study required. In addition,

br»5K^ s « assrss z^^sr

nor, in many caaes, the natural inventive turn of mind needed to put these ideas into definite shape. Were there a place where they could he sent to he worked out and perfected, I am sure we would get many noteworthy im¬ provements from this source alone. We have, of course, in the Navy Department energetic and wideawake bureaus, headed hy experts in their particular lines of work who devote all the time they possibly can to a study of this problem. They have made important contributions to the improvements in the implements of naval warfare and are dding all that is possible with their other large duties. There are, unfortunately, no officers now detailed who can take time from the mass of work which they are called upon to do in order to devote it fully to studying new suggestions and inventions. The Department is also un¬ provided with the best facilities for work of pure experimentation and investigation, with the exception of our testing station at Annapolis, which is, as yet, a small affair. Most of all, as I have said, there is no particular place or particular body of men, relieved of other work, charged solely with the duty of either devising new things themselves or perfecting the crude ideas that are submitted to the Department by our natur¬ ally inventive people.

I have in mind a general plan of organizing such a department which is still very hazy as to detailB but which, in a general way, meets, so far as the Navy is con¬ cerned, with your ideas of such a department for the Government in general. I want to use such facilities for experimental and investigation work as we have, under the direction of men particularly selected for ability shown in this direction, to whom would be referred all suggestions of new devices sent in to the Department and who would work out such ideas to a practical point. Such a department will, of course, have to be eventually sup¬ ported by Congress, with sufficient appropriations made for its proper development, although I feel that we can make a start with the means at hand. To get this support. Congress must be made to feel that the idea is supported by the people, and X feel that our ohanoes of getting the public interested and back of this projeot will be enormously increased if we can have, at the start, some man whose inventive genius is recognized by the whole world to assist us in consultation from time to time on

matters of sufficient importance to bring to his attention. You are recognized by all of us as the one man above all others who oan turn dreams into realities and who has at his command, in addition to his own wonderful mind, the finest facilities in the world for such work.

What I want to ask is if you would he willing, as a sertfice to your country, to aot as an adviser to this hoard, to take such things as seem to you to he of value hut whioh we are not, at present, equipped to investigate, and to use your own magnificent facilities in such investi¬ gation if you feel it worth while. For our part, we will endeavor not to bother you with trivial matters as we will prohahly have sufficient facilities to handle such small matters as they come up. This is a great deal to ask and I unfortunately, have nothing hut the thanks of the Navy and, I think, of the country at large, together with the feeling of service to your country that you will have, to offer you hy way of recompense; yet, so clearly have you shown your patriotism and your unselfish loyalty to your country’s interests, that I feel Justified in making this

request. a^e oonfrontea wittL a new and terrible engine of warfare in the submarine, to consider only one of the big things which 1 have in mind, and I feel sure that, with the practical knowledge of the officers of the Navy with a Department composed of the keenest and most inventive minds that we can gather together, and with your own wonderful brain to aid us, the United States will be able, as in the past, to meet this new danger with new devices that will assure peace to our country hy their effectiveness.

If you feel that you would he willing to do this, I would like, a little later, when my plans are somewhat more matured, to consult with you as to the details of the organization proposed so that I oan make it as effective as possible for the purpose intended.

With you, it might he well to associate a few men prominent in special lineB of inventive researoh, and I would like also to consult with you as to who these men should he. It is, of course, your aid that I rely upon most and if you are not able, for any reason to do this,

I will frankly hesitate to undertake the matter at aix. Should you feel like accepting the task, however, I know the relief which the country would feel in these trying

times at the announcement that you are aiding us in this all important matter.

If you couia let me know as early as you may how you feel about this, I wouia appreciate it, as everything waits upon your answer, and I think we cannot he too expeditious if we are going to take this matter up at all.

Sincerely yours.

July 11, 1916.

Mr. Edison:

I have been attJAgg-'automohileB for fifteen years, and am what might he considered an expert driver. Yet, when I take hold of a new oar, it takes several dayB and sometimes a week to so master its idiosynoraoies as to he able to get the host there is in it out of it.

!o build warships, submarines , eto. , and thei put thorn away until needed, will he very impraotioahle, for the reason that men in command of these boats and the men operating turrets, eto. have to keep oontainually at it, in order that they may remain proficient. When Daniels took hold of the Jtfavy at the beginning of his regime, and out out battle practice the ensuing low grade of morkmanship attested the point I am raising. Whereas, under the former Administration, target praotloo was adhered to, this Havy in the course of ten or twelve years gradually ollmbed to the top of markmonship. Ewo years of comparative idleness dropped us way below fourth place.

1 mention the above, because I have heard a great deal of adverse oritioism from Havol Offioors regarding your interview with Edward Marshall, advocating building boats and then putting them awey for use. At the Brooklyn Havy Yard, they all say they are sorry that you advanced this suggestion.

■because it is sure to lessen the confidence of Haval OffioOrs in the practicability , of the storage battery $$kil it is proved out. Hon they accept your statement that the battery is practical, at full valuo, and have advised accordingly. Those who know still have the same idea, but it has been suggested to mo that I ask you to be very careful about interviews of national preparedness, etc.

A. battleship or submarine must be kept in eo.v$iA*a'nn and hard at it all the time, to enable thoir crows to obtain such proficiency as will enable then to handlo thoso boats properly in an engagement. It requires skill the equal of that possessed by the slight^flsand performer or the expert musician, both of whom have to practice all the time to keep their hands in.


hlO ll/'rT PMO-jw/o

Ay y\\juM~mjj.



_ _ y

^v^ul&,u^ (yi frWL. j /-;

/Ll /<a' *MAG(% $sl/MAsj

Wi/u/V aatvL( hi-

Sr- !»«,,



.. JLc •<£-&»«>

A', y, so/v S&*?-, /?*s-

//AVA t~ C0/VSVl~T->A*a 4&A&0


Among tlio Members Arc Peter Cooper Hewitt, F. 3. Sprague and Hudson Maxim.


SEPTEMBER 13, 1915.



Daniels Announces the Names

Randolph, Vermont, Oct. 1st, 1915,

Thomas A. Edison, Esq.,


E. C.

Dear Sir:

Through .hot I haw learned **«* fti,na,

, eoraetime on ..ploy* of your. In not "ange, 01

millingneee to listen to the inventor of .«r «»a ”■»”>

thing, 1 am emboldened to .rite yon o.no.rnlng « device -hick ! fool sure .ill prove effio.oion. for the Oe.tructi.n of barbed „ir, entanglements , which in thi. unprecedented »r hove proven the cause of such frightful slaughter.

Their destruction hy shell-fire is enormously costly, slow,

and generally incomplete.

16, device oonoi.t. in « projectile cf .i»pl.

which ot any point in if flight thro., wide open he.v. Mod., or flukeo .1th cutting fee... having a .pre.d when opened of four feet or more. *h.ae «>*>.,

the perimeter of the projectile Bllghtly, and being given o'ff set or fiat, they c.rre.pond to the rifling of the gun, » . enourihg . head-on flight, Booh di.ch.rg, of thi. projectile egein.t the thick... of wire entanglement, can hardly fail t. open wide gaps .

I am most anxious to show my invention to an ordnance exp


tut am unacquainted with anyone in that arm of the service.

So convinced am I of the practicability and efficiency of thie device that 1 wish to show it without delay to the proper officers of that department of our military establishment, and would Willingly go to Washington for that purpose. Having, however, unbounded faith in your judgement I should be grateful if you would kindly consent to give me an interview first .

you are, no doubt, hourly besieged by appeals like this from inventors of everything, from perpetual motion to egg beaters, hut dare to hope you will not consider me in that class.

por reference, 1 respectfully give you Senator Carroll S. p0ge j or Senator Dillingham, of Vermont, or Hon. James Y.Dubor,

former Minister to Colombia .

Hoping for an early reply, I am, dear Sir,

Yours very truly.



Doc 23rd. 1913..

Mr,. William S. Crane,

Randolph, Vermont.

Dear Sirs

Your favor of October 1st has reached Mr. Edison with¬ in the last day or two , having been addressed to him at Washing¬ ton, which was incorrect.

He requests us to say to you in reply that your scheme could be demonstrated by using a pistol and making an actual trial. There is very little doubt that it will work, but an experiment on a small scale is more convincing than any amount of writing

He suggests that you try the experiment and let him know the result.

tours very truly,

Edison laboratory.

date October 5th-1915.

Mr. ThomaB A. Edison* subject Re-Experimental Absorp¬

tion of Hydrogen.

Edison Laboratory,

Orange ,11 . J .

Dear Mr .Edison:-

Following is a report made by our laboratory covering experiments on the absorption of hydro¬ gen by different ohemioals. None seem to be of any particular value.

Kindly advise what you wish done further

in regard to the matter.

Pate - 9-15-15.

The Orsat apparatus was used in all parte of this experiment The hydrogen was obtained from #7 Building. Each part of t experiment was repeated to check.

i v TjnO i e 15 {trams C.P. KpHnOd in 150 co. distilled water. ^ 1§0 ocl Hydroge/taken into Orsat and passed into per¬ manganate solution three times. There was no absorption.

K HnO/ i.e. 30 grams C.P. KMnOd in 150 oo. distilled water/' 1<§0 ocl Hydrogen taken into §rsat apparatus and passed into permanganate solution 3 times. There was no absorp

Same as the preoeding.only substituting crude oil for the permanganate. No absorption.

Same as the preoeding.only substituting acid ferric chloride No. Absorption.

Same as the preceding, only substituting raw linseed oil for the other absorbents. No absorption.

Mr. Thomas. A. Edison -2- 10/5/15

Experimental Absorption of Hydrogen.

AsbestoB fibre was boiled in ferrous sulfate solution until v/ell saturated. It v/as then roasted to completely convert the HeS047H20 into red iron. This in turn waB reduced by Hydrogen. By this process ironized asbestos was obtained. This showed a small amount of absorption when warm, but due to the Hydrogen held by reduction, the Hydrogen occluded was small.




. . f -y-— . *132 NASSAU STREET

- /Lx U

\ ] Octgbar 19, 1915.

Ki.„ »,.

*«* 0rTlt£!^^

r:‘ pn<M/‘‘:4.

Parhaps you will b^'inltr^tadin kfiofdnctho character of ojrae of

=■ “** ■*> *'■“■ “jjBP-' v^r' z£££e"X7m' /

hall relate tho followiV^fiur.^nco^tollt , however, in any way \fi.shingy it construed as a criticism of any parson or parsons.

A number of yoars ago I designed an apparatus for taking soundings, t would produca a raady, continuous profila of tho bottom instoau of ca¬

ll a chaap apparatus conBtructoa

actually did tha work expected o

and provad clumsay in othar ways. Bsing axhaustad financially I mada improva- mants on papar only and laid tha plans aside. Later my friana and client, Sanato Malson W. Aldrich, whan told about it, bacama interested and volunteered to gat ma an appropriation for axparimantal purposas, proviuad tho Chief of Engineers

ganorally favorabla, and subsaquantly tha Chief of Engineers sxaminad t carafully and gava tha following verdict: If tha apparatus will work ax you expact it to do, of which I hava not tha slightast doubt, than the my assistants who gats hold of it will try it and place it in tha roar

b it would maka a numbar of araployaas suparfluous.

With doep admiration of tho General* s frankness I gavo up



Y....0ct SI, 1915.


Absorption of Hydrogen.

Ur. William H. Meadowcroft,

Assistant to Ur. Edison,

Orange, H. J.

Dear Sir:-

The note of Ur. Edison/fn relation to the absorp¬ tion of hydrogen, has my full/at tent ion. The problem, how¬ ever, is not an easy one. / In Niagara Falls, tw.e have to dispose every twenty- four hours of one ton of hydrogen gas. But this offers no sepious problem, on account of the exceptionally high ascensional force. of hydrogen.

By the timsUr. Edison comes back, I shall be able to go into this question with more detail.

Very truly yours.


Ootoher 26, 1915,

Mr. Thomas Ho "bins,

12 Park How,

How York City.

My Hear Mr. Robins:

Ab there seems to be some doubt ns to the status of Dr. H. H. Hntohlson in oonneotlon with the Havy Consulting Board, I take pleasure in informing you that the appointment of Dr.

Hutohi son as Assistant to the Chairman, carried with it appointment to full membership of the Board.

Very sinoerely yours,

(signed) Josephus Daniels


Addloks, Lawrenoe Baekeland, Dr. 1. H.

Coffin, Howard B.

Craven, Alfred

Bdi8on, Thomae A.

Emmet, William Le Hoy

Hewitt, Dr. Peter Cooper

Hunt, Andrew Hurray Hutohison, H. H.

Maxim, Hudson Miller, Spenoer

RiohardB, Prof. Jos. W. Hiker, Andrew 1.

Ho tine, ThomaB

Saunders, W. I.

Sellers, Matthew Baoon Sperry, Elmer A. Sprague, Prank 3.

Thayer, Benjamin B.

Webster, Dr. Arthur 0. Whitney, Dr. W. R.

Wood, Henry A. W. Woodward, Dr. Robert S.

Room 2, 126 liberty St., H. Y. City.

"Snug Hook", Harmony Park, Yonkers, H. Y.

oare Hudson Motor Oar Co., Detroit, Mioh. 154 Eassau Street, H. Y. Oity.

Orange, Hew Jersey.

oare General Eleotrio Co., Soheneotady B.Y.

MadiBon Square Garden Tower, 26th Street,

E. Y. City.

55 liberty Street, K. Y. Oity. oare laboratory of Thos. A. Edison,

Orange, H. 3.

Chief Engineer, Westinghouse Eleotrio & Ufg. Co. , East Pittsburgh, Pa.

698 St. Marks Ave. , Brooklyn, K. Y.

96 liberty Street, B. Y. Oity.

lehigh University, South Bethlehem, Pa. oare locomobile Co. of Amerioa, Bridgeport, Conn.

13 Park How, H. Y. City.

11 Broadway, H. Y. City.

801 H. Arlington Ave. . Baltimore, Md. 126 Eassau street, Brooklyn, H. Y. Hoorn 1417, 165 Broadway, H. Y. City.

42 Broadway, H. Y. City.

Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

oare General Eleotrio Co., soheneotady B.Y.

26 Madison Ave. , H. Y. City.

Oarnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D. 0.


Chairman . Thomas A. EdiBon

Pirst Vioe-Ohairman / . . Dr. Peter Cooper Hewitt

Seoond Vice-Chairman . W. I. Saunders

Seoretary . . IhomaB Robins

That subject to the confirmation by the entire Board, the appointments to the various Committees are as follows:

(I) Chemistry and phyBlOB:

(5) Aeronautics, including

aero motorB;

(3) Internal combustion


(4) Electricity:

(6) MlneB and torpedoes:

(6) Submarines:

(7) Ordnanoe and explosives:

(8) WirelssB and

communications :

(9) Transportation:

(10) Broduotion, manufacture

and standardisation:

(II) Ship oonstruotlon:

(18) Steam engineering and ship propulsion:

(13) life saving appliances:

(14) Aids to navigation:

(16) Food and sanitation;

Addioks, Baekeland, Riohards, sellers, Webster, Whitney, Woodward

Coffin, Hewitt, Hiker, Sellers, Sperry., Webster, Wood

Coffin, Biker, Sellers, Sperry

Addioks, Emmet, Hewitt, Lamrae, Sprague, Webster

Baekeland, Maxim, Sperry

Emmet, Hunt, Saunders, Sprague

Baekeland, Hunt, Maxim, Sprague, Whitney, Woodward

Hewitt, Webster, Whitney

Coffin, Craven, Miller, Hiker, Hoblns, Saunders, Thayer .

Addioks, Coffin, Emmet, Lamms, Robins, Saunders, Thayer

Miller, Richards, Sprague, Wood

Emmet, Hunt, Lammo, RiohardB, Sellers

Maxim, Miller, Hoblns

Oraven, Hunt, Sperry,

Wood, Woodward

Baekeland, Maxim, Thayer, Whitney, Woodward.

Thomas Hoblns, SE0HETAH7.

naval consulting BOARD

;V; H 1 'V : . '• •’ ) '.7'

Same of member

Appointed to following Committees:

V; Addicks

Chemistry & physios, Eleotrioity,

Production, manufacture & standardization.


Chemistry & physios, Mines & torpedoes,

Ordnanoe & explosives, Pood & sanitation.


' Aeronautios, inoludlng aero motors.

Internal oombustion motors, Transportation, _

Production, manufacture & standardization.


Transportation, Aids to navigation.


Ex-offioio member of all Committees.

; ' Emmet

Eleotrioity, Submarines, Produotion,

manufacture & standardization. Steam

engineering & ship propulsion.


Aeronautios, inoludlng aero motorB,

Eleotrioity, Wireless & oommunloations.. ^


Submarines, Ordnanoe & explosives, .7-

Steam engineering & Bhip propulsion.

Aids to navigation.


Eleotrioity, Produotion, manufacturing &

standardization, steam engineering &

ship propulBion.


Mines & torpedoes, ’Ordnanoe & explosives, .

Life saving applianoes, Food & sanitation.

r Miller

Transportation, Ship oonstruotion, life

saving applianoes.

r Hiohsrds

Chemistry & physio 8, Ship oonBtruotion,

Steam engineering & ship propulBion.


Aeronautios, inoludlng aero motors, . -•

Internal oombustion motors. Transportation,

Steam engineering & ship propulsion.


Transportation, Produotion, manufacture &

standardization, life saving applianoes.

: " Saunders

Submarines, Transportation, Produotion,

manufacture & standardization.


Chemistry & physioB, Aeronautios, inoludlng

aero motors, Internal oombustion motors, ■;

Steam engineering & Bhip propulBion.

. (1) i

Hama of member


Aeronautic 8, inoiuding aero aotorB,

Internal oombustion aotorB, Mines &

torpedoes, . Aide to navigation.


Electricity, Submarines, Ordnance &

explosives, Ship oonstruotion.


Transportation, Produotion, manufacture t>

standardization. Food and sanitation.


Chemistry & physios. Aeronautics,

inoiuding aero motors, Eleotrloity,

Wireless & communications.


Chemistry & physios, Ordnanoe & explosives,

Wireless & oommunioationB, ; Food & sanitation.


Aeronautlos , aeri, shil>

construction, . Aide zo navigation.


Chemistry & physios, Ordnanoe & explosives,

Aids to navigation. Food & sanitation.

(Vioe-Chairmen Hewitt and Saunders are ex-offiolo .members of other

than their

apeoial Committees)

. ,

V 1

Bov. 11th. 1915.

Mr. Otto Sonne,

132 Ilassau Street,

Hew York City.

Dear Sir:

I am in receipt of your favor of the 19th ultimo, which has been brought to my atten¬ tion on my return from California.

If you will send ms your plans I will see that before they can be side-tracked, some authorized person Bhall give a good explanation for that action, providing, of course, that the Havy wants a device of the kind you mention.

Yours very truly.




YONKERS. N. Y . .NflY.s-l.5j ..1916a .


subject: Hydrogen Absorption for Storage Batteries.

Mr. Thomas A. Edison, Chairman Naval Consulting Board,

. ..Orange, N. J.

My dear Mr. Edioon:-

Bofore you left for the Pacific Coast, vou were kind enough to send a note to me on the desirabil¬ ity of finding a practical way for absorbing hydrogen from the air in submarines.

I note what you say about the possibility of absorbing by permanganate and also your suggestion of util¬ izing the law of Graham, relative to thediffuaionofsases, for eliminating the hydrogen through unglazed porcelain.

it occurs to me that the latter method may cease to work as soon as the porcelain loses ,,

account of the fact of it becoming wet. In Niagara Falls, at the Hooker Electrochemical Company, we have to. dispose of a ton of hydrogen gas per day. Up till now, we ^avenot utilized this hydrogen and simply let it eBCaP® * °°^noed of the possible danger of such large amounts of hydrogen,

I requested our chemists to make some experiments i determine the proportion of hydrogen in the air at different points of the cell -rooms, which are made of reinforced con¬ crete. Without going into the details of. the analytical results, I might state that I was very much impressed by the rapidity with which this hydrogen ascends and mines with the air. Quite close to the orifices of. the cells, we find almost pure hydrogen. A few inches above, the hydro¬ gen contents of the air have become very Bmall, and near the ceiling-.of the building, the amount of hydrogen is negligible.

Of course, in a submarine, conditions are different, beoause there, the hydrogen cannot escape_ through wide ventilators. But in the instance of Niagara Falls, I

am impressed -with the .fact of the considerable ascensional force of the hydrogen, which in the case of a submarine,^ ought to make it possible to collect the Sas “of a*7

constructed hoods and expel it mechanically by J? n fhg rotary pump or blower. The latter could be used when the vessel is not submerged, while -the rotary pump might be neoessary when the vessel is under pressure.



Mr. Edison.... #3. Hov. 15, 3s IB.

Instead of using a hood for collecting the hydrogen, it might be much simpler to conduct the gas through special piping, from where it could be disposed of further by means