Raab Acquires Scientific Archive of Thomas Edison’s Principal Lab Assistant

The archive contains letters and an object of unique importance: a long-lost piece of the first underground wire to light a home – Edison’s own – as part of his grand experiment to determine whether a generated system of lighting was feasible

PHILADELPHIA, PA – November 20, 2017 – For generations, important letters of Thomas Edison, some dating back to before the invention of the light bulb, were passed down in the family of one of Edison’s aide and chief machinist, the man responsible for taking the inventor’s ideas and making them real, and who built the first phonograph with his own hands.  These famous letters stretched for decades.

Among the pieces:

– A letter in which Edison announces a discovery, the key to safely wiring New York City for light;

– The formula used by Edison’s lab to create sound for acoustic telegraphy, which presaged the phonograph;

– A long-lost piece of the first underground wire to light a home, part of Edison’s grand experiment to determine whether a generated system of lighting was feasible.

– A diagram in Edison’s hand of one of his inventions, a medicine for neuralgia.

The Raab Collection has now acquired them, and for one week, these rare, never-before-seen documents will be on display in our offices.  This will be the first time ever they will be available to the public. Contact us at questions@raabcollection.com to learn more.

Join Us


Stay informed about new historical documents, historical discoveries, and information for the educated collector.