Here’s a wonderful souvenir photo album presented to Thomas Edison after a conference of The Society for Electrical Development in 1913. The participants included Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard .as well as electrical genius Charles P Steinmetz. This album was presented to Thomas Edison after the fact, as at the last minute he wasn’t able to attend, but sent letters to the attendees. The album includes 188 original black and white photographs of attendees engaged in various sports, boating, and often, just sitting around conversing and thinking great thoughts. There are at least 11 photos of Hubbard wearing his signature shoelace headband–the original hippie! Steinmetz is also featured in several photos–most apparent with his tiny stature. He often is in motion and his energy almost jumps off of the page. About Steinmetz from Wikipedia: He was a giant among scientific thinkers, counting Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison as friends, and his contributions to mathematics and electrical engineering made him one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable men of his time.
Candid photos of these two personalities are rare. There are even a couple of Hubbard and Steinmetz together–oh, to be a fly on the wall!
Also included in this amazing, one of a kind group is a rare 3/4 leather 1914 “Camp Cooperation” Proceedings book printed by Hubbard’s Roycrofters after the event. It includes a lecture by Hubbard titled simply “Cooperation”, and a more technical one by Steinmetz, as well as transcription of talks by the other attendees. Each chapter has an leading portrait of the presenter with a tissue guard. The front of the book has a copy of the letter Edison sent to each attendee. An elaborate production and a fitting accompaniment to the photo album.
The album is 15″x11″ and in rough condition–with leather on part of the spine and on the rear cover missing. Deserves to be restored. The cover says “Camp Cooperation, Association Island 1913, Do It Electrically” and at the bottom “Mr Thomas A Edison”. The photos are in very good condition but are glued to the album pages. The book has substantial wear to the exterior leather as shown, but the interior is very good.
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