Inscribed to GE's Chief Railway Engineer

Autograph Note Signed, "Thos. A. Edison" on his first visit to Schenectady in 30 years, for the Chief Engineer of General Electric's Railway Department.

Schenectady: Oct. 18 1922.

Price: $4,500.00


About the item

With portrait above and sentiment surrounding the signature. 4 x 5 inches. Inscribed to GE's Chief Railway Engineer. Matted and framed, fine.

Item #354127

From an album given to William Bancroft Potter (1863-1934) of General Electric. W.B. Potter worked as the chief engineer of the General Electric Company's Railway and Traction Department, a position he held from 1895 until his retirement in 1930. He was the holder of at least five patents for electric railroad inventions. Edison has inscribed his name and the following sentiment: "The boast of heraldry of pomp and pawn all that beuty e're gave the path of glory leads but" which is a paraphrase of Gray's Elegy:

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

On October 18, 1922, Edison visited the GE factory and toured with Charles Steinmetz; it was Edison's first visit to the factory in 30 years. "Edison initially came to Schenectady in 1886 to start up the Edison Machine Works, a new company under the umbrella of Edison Electric Light Company. In 1889, he combined all his businesses into the Edison General Electric Company, and in 1892 merged with Houston-Thomson of Lynn, Massachusetts to form General Electric" (Buell, Bill, "2 wizards kept GE atop technology field", The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, June 17, 2017).

Matted with a bust portrait by Bachrach Studios, which is printed with the inscription, "Greetings to my old Associates at the Schenectady Works. Thos A Edison / October 18 1922." The same image was reproduced on the cover of the General Electric Review Vol. XXV, No. 12, December 1922, which includes a description of Edison's visit.