"We also took along our magnetic needles and made a rough survey of the mine"

Edison, Thomas Alva, American inventor and businessman (1847-1931). Autograph letter signed ("TaE").

No place, "Sunday" [August 1901].

8vo. 4 pp.


To his second wife Mina Miller, here called "Billy", about a strenuous field trip to Ontario to explore nickel reserves, involving an honorary reception by the city of Sudbury: "John writes you today & I assume tells you all about the trip in the woods - as I do not know what he told you I will recite all the events after you left. After the boys came from the Laboratory we took a carriage and 6 of us went out on the upper Wanatapae [i. e. Wanapitei] road to the Credyman mine [...] The mine is about 10 or 12 miles NE from Sudbury. It has been cleared & exposed so we had a good chance to see the whole of the surface and the amount of nickel ore exposed. We also took along our magnetic needles and made a rough survey of the mine [...] This gave us lots of information which will be good for future use [...] Right near the mine we came onto a typical Canadian Lumber Camp. There was 5 low log cabins and 3 log stables, the latter containing about 30 horses [...] The strangest thing was that they had a railroad, a narrow gauge with regular steel rail, Locomotives & logging cars [...] The Municipality of Sudbury gave me an address, which was read by the mayor [...] after it was over I asked several of the city fathers to come down stairs and have some lemonade, there were seven or eight and all took whisky instead of lemonade [...] We left Monday morning for Worthington [...] at this point we were to leave the Railroad & start south into the country which is very heavily wooded [...] we could only find swamp water which had the color of tea, this we boiled before drinking. We slept on the ground with a little hay upon which we laid our blankets. Towards morning it got very cold and a heavy fog settled down [...] we cooked breakfast & started out early for a lake to the south, the swamps, rocks, & fallen timber made progress very slow and very exhausting [...] I sprained my ankle slightly but the next morning it was ok. The guide preceded us and cut with an axe a bare spot on both sides of trees about 20 ft apart, we followed these spots very readily - it's called 'Blasing a trail'. We came to a pretty fine lake & made camp [...] The last 2 days I have been in camp, the boys have been out hunting corners & yesterday for the 1st time tried a survey with their needles. Today is Sunday & we keep it holy, tomorrow I am going out with the boys & try a new plan to surveying from Diorite to Huronian instead of surveyors posts which it's impossible to find [...]".

Small marginal tears.