of galvanic batteries. On one of the tables is a phonograph, run by steam-power, with a belt through the floor to the machine-shop, and beside it a copy of Poe's poems. In the rear of the room is a fine pipe-organ, with an open Moody and Sankey book on it. At the opposite end of the room stands Mr. Edison, telling the writer that there is no philosopher like Herbert Spencer, no writer like Victor Hugo, and no poet like Edgar A. Poe.
The Associated Press wires run through his laboratory, and anon he picks up his telephone and chats with Philadelphia, or with Prof. Barker, at the University of Pennsylvania. When visitors call to see him, they are most likely to inquire for Mr. Edison from the man himself—a boyish face, an unostentatious manner, a careless dress, and, in fact, the unchanged whole that formerly put in an appearance as the new man at the Boston office. The crowd of farm-boys that come over to see the wonderful talking-machine find him as ready to gratify their curiosity as the more pretentious "professor." While carrying on his manufacturing at Newark, he married, and—well, Dot and Dash are the nicknames of the little girl and boy that come every once in a while to "see the wheels go round."
We cannot here speak at length of his numerous inventions. He owns one hundred and fifty patents, but of these only about a dozen are of real value, the others are taken out to guard all approaches to the valuable patents. Among his pet patents are his quadruplex telegraphy, by which four messages may be sent at the same time over the same wire; his electric pen, for multiplying copies of letters or drawings, and which consists of a tubular pen in which a needle plays with a sewing-machine-like motion driven by electricity, which perforates the lines drawn with it, the perforated sheet being afterward inked and used in a press; the ink is pressed through the minute perforations and leaves on another sheet a finely-dotted tracing like the original. His carbon telephone and the phonograph are, perhaps, the most marvelous of his inventions.
When Mr. Gray brought out his musical telephone, which set students to experimenting in that direction, Mr. Edison was trying to improve the Reuss telephone, the invention of a German. Mr. Gray's apparatus gave promise of furnishing a method of multiplex telegraphy—a subject in which Mr. Edison, as we have seen, was interested. Between Mr. Gray and Mr. Edison an understanding was arrived at by which Mr. Edison was to leave Mr. Gray to carry out his invention unmolested in the direction of multiplex telegraphy; while Mr. Gray, on the other hand, would not interfere with Mr. Edison's attempt to make a speaking apparatus. While Mr. Edison had all but succeeded in making the electro-magnet telephone, Mr. Bell hit it and brought it out at the Centennial. Mr. Edison acknowledged himself fairly anticipated, and began to experiment with a view to finding a substance that would be elastic, so to speak, to the passage of a current